WASHINGTON (AP) - Retail sales declined in September by the largest amount this year as car sales plummeted following the end of the government's popular Cash for Clunkers program.
The Commerce Department says retail sales dropped 1.5 percent last month. That's smaller than the 2.1 percent fall economists had expected, but still the biggest setback since sales dropped 3.2 percent in December.
Car sales plunged 10.4 percent, but excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.5 percent. That's better than the 0.2 percent increase analysts expected.
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