WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers spent less on autos, clothing and furniture, leaving retail sales unchanged in August. The lack of growth in retail sales during a month of wild stock market fluctuations may increase recession fears.
The Commerce Department says retail sales showed no growth in August and demand in July was weaker than first thought.
Auto sales fell 0.3 percent. Sales at clothing stores declined 0.7 percent. Gasoline sales rose.
The flat reading in August was a surprise given reports from retailers that back-to-school shopping and auto sales were strong during the month compared to a year ago.