Retail sales dropped 0.2 percent from April to May with motor vehicle sales up but gas station sales down, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday.
Total sales in the month, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for prices, hit $404.6 billion in Wednesday's advance figures. That put sales directly in line with economists' expectations.
The sales figure for April was revised lower in the report to $405.2 billion.
Automobile sales were up 0.8 percent in the month but gasoline station sales were down 2.2 percent, leading declines.
Although down month-to-month, retail sales were up 5.3 percent compared to May 2011. For March, April and May, sales were up 5.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.