Retail Sales Slide In August As Consumers Pull Back

by MR Magazine Staff

U.S. retail sales dropped in August as consumer spending – the single most important determinant of national economic growth – showed signs of softness and threw the health of the ongoing recovery into question. Receipts collected by the country’s retailers ended up falling for the first time in five months, according to a report published Thursday by the Census Bureau. After an impressive second quarter of the year in April, May and June, the third quarter of 2016 is shaping up to be one to forget for domestic retailers, as sales ticked up only 0.1 percent in July and fell 0.3 percent in August. Miscellaneous store retailers like florists, office supply outfits and gift shops saw sales plunge 2.4 percent to lead the monthly decline, and only four of the 13 major retail subsectors profiled in the report showed any kind of positive gain. Aside from a 0.9 percent gain at food services and drinking places and a 0.7 percent boost at clothing and accessory retailers, there was little improvement to speak of. Read more at U.S. News & World Report.