Retail Sales Unexpectedly Go Negative as Surging Gas Prices Tax American Wallets

Retail Sales Unexpectedly Go Negative as Surging Gas Prices Tax American Wallets


Retail sales fell 0.3% in May as record high gasoline prices, four-decade high inflation, rising interest rates, and weakening confidence dragged down the American consumer.

The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday indicated that record-high gas prices took their toll on sales elsewhere. Excluding cars and gas station sales, retail sales came in at minus 0.4 percent compared with a month earlier.

The results were much worse than expected and showed a steep reversal from the prior month. Economists had expected retail sales to climb 0.1 percent from April. The March to April figure was revised down to 0.7 percent from the preliminary report of 0.9 percent, an indication that sales were already weaker than expected.

The numbers are actually flattered by inflation because

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