U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than a year in May as Americans bought less autos and curtailed discretionary spending. Alicia Powell reports.
May retail sales dropped a surprising 0.3 percent to their lowest level in more than a year. To blame - mostly - cheap gas and weaker demand for new cars and trucks. Excluding autos, gas, building materials, and food services, retail sales were unchanged last month after a spike in April. And on the year-to-year basis, they rose 3.8 percent. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy. And - some economists say - the surprise dip in May could worry the Federal Reserve. Still, the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points later on Wednesday.