WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. retail sales fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in June to mark the third straight decline, the first time that's happened since midway through the last recession in 2008, according to the latest government data. Excluding autos, sales dropped 0.4%, the Commerce Department said Monday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% increase in overall retail sales and no change excluding autos.
Gasoline stations reported the biggest drop, down 1.8%, but almost every sector of the economy posted a decline. In the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 3.5%, but they fell in each month of the second quarter. Sales in May were unchanged at a 0.2% decline, while sales in April were revised down to a 0.5% drop from -0.2%.