U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in June as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods, which could raise concerns the economy was slowing again.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales slipped 0.3 percent last month, the weakest reading since February. May's retail sales were revised down to show them rising 1.0 percent instead of the previously reported 1.2 percent jump.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.2 percent last month.
Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services dipped 0.1 percent after an unrevised 0.7 percent increase in May.
These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.
Coming on the heels of June's disappointing employment report and sharp drop in small business confidence, the weak retail sales data suggests the economy might have lost some momentum at the end of the second quarter, having struggled at the start of the year.