U.S. retail and food services sales fell 1.5 percent in September compared with August due mostly to a sharp decline in motor vehicle and parts sales, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
Sales were $344.7 billion, compared with $349.9 billion in August. Excluding auto related sales, retail sales were up 0.5 percent to $288.5 billion, compared with $287.1 billion in August.
Among the factors contributing to the drop in auto sales, was the end of a government rebate program to boost the economy known as “cash for clunkers” which drove sales.
Estimated results have been adjusted for seasonal variations, holiday, and trading-day differences, but not price changes.
Sales in Sept (in billions) and percent change from August:
Retail & food services, total: $344.7, -1.5
Motor vehicle & parts dealers: $56.2, -10.4
Furniture & home furnishing stores: $7.83, +1.4
Electronics & appliance stores: $8.28 billion, 0.0
Building material & garden eq. & supplies dealers: $23.3, -0.2
Food & beverage stores: $49.7, +0.7
Health & personal care stores: $21.3, +0.8
Gasoline stations: $31.4, +1.1
Clothing & clothing accessories stores $17.5, +0.5
Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores: $7.30, +0.1
General merchandise stores (Dept stores, warehouse stores and others): $50.0, +0.9
Miscellaneous store retailers: 9.32, -1.9
Nonstore retailers (including electronics shopping & mail order houses) : $24.2, -0.1
Food services & drinking places: $38.4, +0.2