Purchases of vehicles plunged in July, sending US retail sales down a surprising 1.1 percent, the government reported Tuesday, a far bigger drop than analysts were expecting.
Auto sales collapsed 4.3 percent compared to June, the Commerce Department reported. Excluding all motor vehicles and parts, total retail sales fell just 0.4 percent.
Most categories declined, except gasoline stations where rising prices boosted the total. But sales are still 15.8 percent higher than July 2020, the report said.