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Retail Sales Fall For a Second Straight Month

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 14, 2010


According to a poll released by Bloomberg today the atmosphere is pretty bleak.

After a year of economic growth, 71 percent say the economy is still in recession while 13 percent believe the economy is sputtering and will dip back into recession.

What’s more, only 1 in 6 say they believe they are personally better off than they were 18 months ago, when President Barack Obama took office.

And more than half say they have changed their habits as a result by hunkering down.

Not surprisingly, those same feelings were expressed in the retail sales data released this morning…

From the AP by Martin Crutsinger entitled: Retail sales drop 0.5 percent in June

Retail sales fell in June for the second straight month, more evidence that the recovery will slow in the second half of the year.

Spending on retail goods dropped 0.5 percent in June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That followed a 1.1 percent fall in May. Excluding autos, spending was down 0.1 percent in June.

Pulling down the overall June figures was a drop in auto sales and declining gas prices. When taking those out, sales would have risen 0.1 percent for the month.

Separately, the Commerce Department said that business inventories rose 0.1 percent in May. But sales dropped 0.9 percent, the first decline since March 2009.

Americans are spending less and that could threaten the pace of the recovery. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. But consumers have held back because of high unemployment and other signs that have dampened their confidence, such as the volatile stock market and a struggling housing market.

“June’s retail sales figures add to the growing batch of evidence suggesting that the economic recovery shifted into a lower gear towards the end of the second quarter,” Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note. “Activity at the end of the quarter was much weaker than at the beginning.”

Dales said he was not looking for the economy to slip back into recession. But he expects overall economic growth to be disappointing for the rest of this year and into 2011.”


Translation: More pain ahead…or cloudy with a chance of rain.


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