Retailers' June same-store sales reports were a mixed bag, as teen apparel retailers and warehouse clubs outperformed other sectors such as department stores.
Despite some sales gains, however, analysts said June results are likely not an indication of an improved spending environment, as consumers continue to be pressured by high energy prices and a weak housing market.
In total, The International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS sales tally of 50 stores rose 2.4 percent in June, compared to a 3.0 percent gain in the year-ago period. The tally is based on same-store sales.
American shoppers took a breather last month as the worst housing recession in 16 years eroded demand for building materials, appliances and furniture.
The 0.9 percent drop in retail sales, the most in almost two years, followed a revised 1.5 percent increase in May, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Sales excluding automobiles fell 0.4 percent, the most since September. A separate Labor Department number showed the price of imported goods rose for a fifth month on higher fuel costs.