October retail sales rose less than expected as car sales fell in the US, stoking fears that consumer spending could hit economic growth in Q4.
According to the Commerce Department, retail sales rose 0.1% in October, after no change in September, and by 1.7% compared with October 2014.
Economists had forecast a rise of 0.3% for October.
Robust car sales have underpinned overall growth in retail sales for the past two years.
The amount US shoppers spent online continued to rise, with online sales 7.1% higher than in October 2014.
However, sales during the run-up to Christmas will prove to be the real test of consumer confidence.
Fears about the level of consumer spending prompted department store chain Macy’s to cut its profit outlook for 2015 by 10% on November 11.
The revision sent Macy’s shares tumbling almost 20% this week.
Rival department store operator Nordstrom also cut its full-year forecast on November 12, resulting in a similar slide in its shares.