Retail Sales Down 0.1 Percent in July

Retail sales dropped 0.1 percent in July after a rise of 0.8 percent the previous month, the U.S. Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau announced Thursday.

According to an AP report, gas station sales were down 2.1 percent. Retail sales would have posted a modest 0.1 percent increase excluding the drop at gas stations. Department store sales fell 1.6 percent and the broader category of general merchandise stores, which includes big chains such as Wal-Mart and Target, posted a decline of 0.8 percent.

However, according to the Census Bureau, the total increase over the last three months is the strongest three-month performance since December 2007.