Retail sales declined by more than expected in July as consumer confidence crashed amid rising coronavirus infections and rapid inflation.
Sales fell 1.1 percent in July, worse than the 0.2 percent decline expected, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed Tuesday. A month earlier, sales climbed 0.6 percent.
Sales of cars and trucks have been heavily constrained by a lack of supply due to a shortage of microchips. In July, sales fell 3.9 percent.
Excluding autos, sales were down 0.4 percent. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.2 percent.
Sales climbed 2.4 percent in gas stations, reflecting higher gas prices.
Excluding autos and gasoline, sales were down 0.7 percent. Expectations were for a 0.3 percent decline.
Sales at clothing stores fell 2.6 percent. Sales at sporting goods stores dropped 1.9 percent. Department store sales were down 0.3 percent.
Nonstore retailers, which is the category for online sales, fell 3.1 percent.
Grocery store sales fell, as did sales in furniture stores. Home and gardening supply store sales also dropped.
Sales were up 1.7 percent in bars and restaurants and 0.3 percent in electronics and appliance stores.