The Commerce Department reported on Monday that U.S. retail sales fell for the third consecutive month in June -- the first time sales have fallen three months in a row since 2008 -- even though economists had forecast a .2% rise.
According to the report, “retail and food service sales decreased 0.5% last month to a seasonally adjusted $401.52 billion.”
According to Fox Business, retail sales make up about two-thirds of the economy and these numbers indicate that “consumers are losing confidence as unemployment remains high, house prices low and the outlook unpredictable.”
The numbers also mean that GDP growth in the second half of the year will be stagnant. When coupled with data that shows job growth and wages remaining stagnant, policy makers at the Federal Reserve may be tempted to pump more stimulus money into the economy in the second half the year.
The Commerce Department, according to Fox Business, also said that U.S. business inventories “rose in May as more goods were left on warehouse shelves amid flagging sales.” Inventories increased by 0.3% while sales dropped by 0.1%.
These numbers explain why President Obama will try to run on everything except his economic record.