Outside drop in autos, retail spending rises

WASHINGTON – A sharp drop in auto sales caused largely by a calendar quirk lowered U.S. retail spending in September. But Americans spent more on most other goods, showing some confidence in the economy before much of the government shut down.

Overall retail sales dipped 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the weakest showing since March.

Auto sales fell 2.2 percent, the largest decline since October 2012. But the drop occurred largely because the sales calendar pulled Labor Day weekend activity into August, automakers have said. That means the drop was likely temporary.

– The Associated Press