Sales at U.S. retailers dropped 0.9 percent in June to $373.9 billion, the sharpest month-to-month decline in nearly two years, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, which dropped by 2.9 percent and account for about 20 percent of the total, retail sales declined by 0.4 percent, the report said.

Declines were reported at furniture stores, building-materials and garden-equipment suppliers, and clothing stores, while gasoline sales fell by 1.1 percent.

General merchandise stores, food and beverage outlets, and health and personal care stores all saw gains, the report said.

Published on: Jul 13, 2007