July 17, 2006
Retail Sales Fall in June
Retail sales fell unexpectedly in June, the first decline in four months, suggesting the beginning of a possible slowdown in the growth of consumer spending.
Sales fell 0.1% between May and June. They rose only 5.9% compared to sales in June 2005, the slowest year-over-year growth in 2006, according to Investor's Business Daily.
In addition, mass retailers reported a slowdown in sales growth during June. Wal-Mart reported a 1.2% rise in same-store sales for the month. And the University of Michicgan announced its consumer sentiment index fel 1.9 points to 83 last week, showing additional signs of consumer hesitation.
Economists blame high gas prices, climbing interest rates, a slowdown in the housing market and slower job growth as factor's in consumers' trepidation.