Consumers and how they spend their money is extremely important to the American Economy. This morning retail sales for fell .3% for September. This is the first time in six months. If you remove gas and auto sales the number was flat, but still a weak report.
It helped that August sales were revised upwards .6% instead of the .4% growth. Sales of autos fell 1% but it likely reflects discounting of cars at end of summer. Lower sales of gas at the pump is largely due to lower gas prices instead of less volume pumped. The month long strike at GM plants might also have had some impact.
The big question is how weak will sales become as we enter the holiday season? Yesterday, there was a report on holiday spending and estimates called for an increase in year-over-year numbers.
With unemployment at record lows, one can expect the consumer to keep spending.