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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Retail sales outside of autos turned in a disappointing performance in July, underscoring concerns about the timing and durability of a recovery from the worst recession since World War II.
The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.1 percent last month, a much worse performance than the 0.7 percent gain that economists had expected.
While autos, helped by the start of the Cash for Clunkers program, showed a 2.4 percent jump -- the biggest in six months -- there was widespread weakness elsewhere with gasoline stations, department stores, electronics outlets and furniture stores all reporting declines.
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