U.S. retail sales were flat in July compared to the previous month, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.
Results are a slowdown from June, when retail sales rose by a revised 0.8% over the month.
In July, spending at gas stations fell by 1.8% month over month, reflecting the recent drop in gas prices. Gas prices, far from the $5 a gallon peaked earlier in the summer, are at $3.94 a gallon for regular unleaded, according to the AAA.
In July spending at grocery stores rose 0.2% and sales at auto dealerships declined 1.6%. Excluding gasoline and motor vehicles, retail sales rose 0.7%.
The numbers are adjusted seasonally but not for inflation, and come during a month when the consumer price index also was flat and U.S. consumers have been fighting to keep up with an inflationary environment.
With prices overall increasing 8.5% from a year ago and inflation close to its highest level in 40 years, the Federal Reserve enacted consecutive 0.75 percentage point hikes in June and July, and is expected to keep moving rates higher until inflation comes down to the 2% goal.