U.S. retail sales missed forecasts calling for an acceleration in November as clothing stores and restaurants posted declines, signaling the economy’s main engine may cool in the fourth quarter by more than previously thought.
The value of overall sales climbed 0.2% after an upwardly revised 0.4% increase the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.5% increase.
Sales in the “control group” subset increased a below-forecast 0.1% following a 0.3% gain. The measure excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations, providing a reading considered more reflective of underlying consumer demand.
The data suggest a slowdown in business investment and weakness in manufacturing is weighing more broadly on Americans’ willingness to spend, which could mean a soft holiday-shopping season despite a relatively strong labor market, improved wage gains and record stock prices. At the same time, consumers likely still have enough wherewithal to support the expansion, and an easing of U.S.-China trade tensions should aid the economy in 2020.
Bloomberg News reported Thursday that President Donald Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods from the Asian nation, according to people familiar with the matter.
Other early indications for the holiday shopping season were more optimistic, with BofA Global Research reporting retailers had the highest sales gains for the period up to Black Friday since 2013.
Soure : Bloomberg