WASHINGTON — Americans curtailed their shopping in June, with less spending at restaurants, department stores and gasoline stations. The spending pullback came despite a healthy job market and suggests that economic growth could remain sluggish.
Retail sales fell 0.2
Michael Dolega, a senior economist at TD Bank, called the report "a disappointment as far as the resilience of the consumer is concerned."
The decline reflects in part a transformative shift by consumers toward Amazon and other online retailers. Sales at department stores, once the anchors of shopping malls and the pride of local communities, have dwindled. The rise of online shopping has left more retailers competing on price or striving to offer deeper discounts — factors that can limit overall sales figures.
Even former sources of strength in retail, like restaurants and auto dealers, have faced weakening sales in recent months.
The spending figures are closely watched because consumers account for roughly 70
The economy has expanded at a tepid annual pace of roughly 2
Sales slipped 0.6
But not all sectors suffered declines in June. Spending improved 0.4
Despite the slight improvement of sales by auto dealers, overall motor vehicle sales, which can include purchases by rental car companies, fell 3
Josh Boak, The Associated Press