US retail sales rose just 0.1 per cent last month, after being unchanged in August, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Over the past 12 months, sales have climbed 2.4 per cent.
While core retail sales dropped from 0.1 percent in August to 0.3 percent below zero in September. This is the lowest core retail sales since February 2015 when unemployment claims was 304,000.
Economic growth has softened in recent months, mainly because of weak exports, declining capital spending in the energy sector due to lower oil prices and a so-called inventory correction, which have hurt manufacturing activity.
The mixed report suggests underlying strength in domestic demand despite a weakening global economy and a slowdown in job growth over the past two months, which have diminished expectations of a U.S. rate hike this year.
Most economists expect the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark overnight interest rate in December, but financial markets are only pricing in an increase early next year. The U.S. central bank has kept its short-term interest rate near zero since late 2008.
In September, receipts at service stations fell 3.2 per cent, the largest fall since January, after falling 2.0 per cent in August. Excluding gasoline, retail sales increased 0.4 per cent last month.
Sales at auto dealerships increased 1.7 per cent after rising 0.4 per cent in August. Clothing store sales rose 0.9 per cent in September. Receipts at building materials and garden equipment stores fell 0.3 per cent, while sales at furniture stores rose 0.6 per cent.