Retail sales rose 0.1% in September, according to the Census Bureau.
But excluding the volatile auto and gas components, “core” retail sales were flat month-on-month.
Lower gasoline prices impacted gas station sales, which fell 3.2% from August, the highest for any kind of business. Compared to last September, sales were down 19.7%.
Economists had estimated that retail sales rose 0.2% during the month, unchanged from August. Excluding autos and gas, they estimated that sales fell 0.1%.
In an email to clients after the release, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson noted that the strong dollar is weighing down the prices of imported goods, particularly clothes and electronics.