Indeed, it was only last Friday that Fed Chair Janet Yellen advised that “recent encouraging data about retail sales and light motor vehicle purchases in the beginning of the second quarter could be an indication that the pace of consumer spending is picking up”.
The unemployment rate last month dropped to 5.3%, the lowest in more than seven years – but the drop was largely due to many workers leaving the labor force. When excluding both categories, sales were down 0.2% last month.
Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – decreased by 0.1 percent from the previous month but increased 0.1 percent from the previous year.
On Tuesday, another report showed that the cost of goods imported fell during June, restrained by autos.
“Unexpectedly weak retail sales data adds to signs that the United States economy is slowing again after pulling out of the soft patch earlier in the year,”said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit””.
The economy contracted at a 0.2 per cent annual rate in the first quarter and the drop in core retail sales could see economists trim their GDP growth estimates for the April-June quarter.
At general merchandise stores, sales climbed 0.7% month-on-month, and rose 1.2% from June a year ago.
The American consumer retreated in June, dashing hopes for a more pronounced second-quarter upswing in spending and leaving companies less upbeat about the economy.
WASHINGTON-U.S. retail sales softened in June, a stumble that suggests consumer spending may be leveling off after bouncing back from a …
In June, sales fell across most categories, from furniture and clothing stores to auto dealers to home improvement and garden suppliers.
Sales last month were broadly weak, with receipts at auto dealerships falling 1.1 percent after rising 1.8 percent in May.
Sales at restaurants and bars declined 0.2 per cent, the most since January 2014.
Compared to a year earlier, retail sales were up 1.4 per cent in June.
The euro rose 0.5 per cent to US$1.1056 at 8:33 a.m. New York time. That matched the average gain over the first four months of the year, suggesting there is little momentum in spending.
A separate Commerce Department report released last month showed Americans boosted their spending in May at the fastest rate in nearly six years, aided by a healthy bump in their paychecks.
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