U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in February for a third month, adding to signs that consumer spending — the biggest part of the economy — is easing after strong gains in the fourth quarter. Overall sales fell 0.1 percent after a revised 0.1 percent decrease in January, and missed the median economist forecast for a 0.3 percent gain. Stripping out purchases at automobile dealers and gasoline stations, sales were up 0.3 percent, in line with estimates. So-called retail-control group sales, used to calculate gross domestic product and which exclude food services, gasoline, building materials and motor vehicles, rose 0.1 percent, missing estimates for a 0.4 percent gain.
Amazon’s on-line “revolution” has helped reduce retail store sales, even for food. And healthcare!
And low wage growth isn’t helping.
Here is a photo of Jeff “Freddie” Bezos from the film “A Nightmare on Main Street.” At least for retailers.