Retail sales at clothing stores went down 0.6 percent; sales at electronics and appliance stores dropped 0.3 percent; sales at grocery stores fell 0.2 percent and those at food services and drinking places declined 0.2 percent. Sales at general merchandise stores shrank 0.6 percent and those at sporting goods contracted 0.1 percent. In contrast, sales in motor vehicles stores rose 1.4 percent and receipts in gasoline stations advanced 0.4 percent.
Retail sales excluding automobiles increased 0.1 percent, slowing from a revised 0.4 percent increase in April.
Core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services were flat in May.