Retail sales dip 0.1 percent in July

Retail sales dip 0.1 percent in July



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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.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Martin Crutsinger Economics Writer

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