U.S. retail sales fell in February, indicating the main driver of the U.S. economy, consumer spending, had begun to slow even before coronavirus containment measures began rippling through the economy.
The value of overall sales decreased 0.5% from the prior month after a 0.6% gain in January, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2% advance.
Sales in the "control group" subset, which some analysts view as a more reliable gauge of underlying consumer demand, were little changed, compared with projections for a 0.4% gain. The measure excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations.
Source : Bloomberg