Weak February U.S. Retail Sales Underscore Slowing Economy

by MR Magazine Staff

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in February, the latest sign economic growth has shifted into low gear as stimulus from $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and increased government spending fades. The weak report from the Commerce Department on Monday joined a raft of other soft data, including housing starts and manufacturing production that have left economists anticipating a sharp slowdown in growth in the first quarter. The loss of economic momentum also reflects higher interest rates, slowing global growth, Washington’s trade war with China and uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union. These factors contributed to the Federal Reserve’s decision last month to abruptly end its three-year campaign to tighten monetary policy. Read more at CNBC.