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U.S. retail sales fall 0.1% in July
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08:25, August 14, 2009

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Retail sales in the United States dropped 0.1 percent in July, much worse than the gain of 0.7 percent economists had expected.

And the figure, released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, would have been much worse had it not been for a government initiative that lifted auto sales.

Auto sales jumped 2.4 percent during July due to the start of the government's "cash for clunkers" program. Excluding autos, the retail sales figure would have been down 0.6 percent for the month.

Meanwhile, filling station sales fell 2.1 percent but, excluding gasoline sales, other retailers sales increased 0.1 percent.

The dip in July delivered a setback to hopes that the U.S. economic recession might be near an end. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, is the broad measure of U.S. economic activity.


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