Investing.com - U.S. retail sales dropped 0.3% in January, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
This was compared to a gain of 0.4% in the previous month.
Economists had forecast sales to increase by 0.2%.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, were unchanged in January from the previous month.
That compared to consensus forecast of a 0.5% rise.
Core sales increased by 0.1% in December, which was revised down from 0.4%.
Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government's gross domestic product report. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.