United States retail sales fell for a third straight month in February, apparently due to harsh weather, which kept consumers from traveling to outlets, according to a Reuters report.
The U.S. Commerce Department recently reported that retail sales dropped 0.6% in February after dipping 0.8% in January. It was the first time that sales dropped for three consecutive months since 2012, bucking economists’ predictions that sales would increase 0.3% in February.
This second straight month of weak sales suggests slowed consumer spending in the first quarter, though economists had expected core retail sales (excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services) to increase by 0.4%.
While automobile sales fell 2.5% in February, sales at clothing stores remained unchanged, and sales at sporting goods and hobby shops increased 2.3%.
For more information, visit commerce.gov.