US retail sales drop unexpectedly in January
US retail sales fell unexpectedly in January, and another gauge of consumer spending also slipped.
The Commerce Department said today that retail sales fell 0.4pc last month, led by a drop in automobile sales. Sales fell by a revised 0.1pc in December.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would be unchanged in January after rising by a previously reported 0.2pc in December.
Stripping out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, so-called core sales fell 0.3pc after rising by a downwardly revised 0.3pc in December. Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.
Economists had expected this category to advance 0.2pc in January.