Retail sales barely rose in September, challenging expectations that the American economy is riding high on a rising tide of consumer optimism.
Compared with a year ago, retail sales rose 4.7 percent from a year ago.
Spending at restaurants and bars fell 1.8 percent, the largest decline since December 2016.
Somewhat offsetting that decline, however, auto sales rose 0.8 percent, reversing the 0.5 percent decline in July.
This core retail sales figure is closely correlated with the consumer spending component of GDP.