Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News
Retail sales were little changed in July, the worst performance in six months, as tepid wage growth restrained U.S. consumers.
The slowdown in purchases followed a 0.2% advance in June, the Commerce Department reported. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.2% gain. Excluding cars, sales rose 0.1%.
Job growth has yet to stoke the type of wage gains needed to boost household purchases, a sign the economic expansion will probably not sustain the second-quarter pickup into the end of the year. Some retailers must rely on promotions and discounts to entice customers, whose spending accounts for about 70% of the economy.
“We’re seeing decent but not great consumer spending,” Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial said. “Credit is limited and wage growth is stagnant.”