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US retail sales dropped 0.5 percent in June, third straight monthly decline
WASHINGTON (AP) ¯¯¯ Americans cut their spending at retail businesses for a third straight month, as a weak job market has made consumers more cautious.
The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.5 percent in June from May. That followed declines of 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent in the previous two months. It was the first three-month decline in retail sales since the fall of 2008, during the height of the financial crisis.
Some of the weakness in recent months has reflected falling gas prices. But even excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending fell 0.3 percent in June.
Sales declined at auto dealerships, department stores, furniture stores, appliance stores and building and garden supply stores.