‘Unexpected’ Decline in Retail Sales – Never Saw it Coming

June 11, 2010 at 08:05 (Economy, General Stupidity, News)

Idiots. Why does every article about declines or financial issues start with ‘unexpected’. If they didn’t know, why the heck should we listen to them to begin with?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May for the first time since September following a record slump in purchases of building materials, adding to fears the economic recovery was losing some steam.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales dropped 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September, after rising by an upwardly revised 0.6 percent in April. Sales in April were previously reported to have increased 0.4 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.2 percent last month.

Retail sales, which had risen for seven straight months, were up 6.9 percent compared to May last year.

U.S. stock index futures fell on the report, while Treasury debt prices rose. The U.S. dollar fell broadly.

“There’s no getting around the fact you saw some consumer retrenchment in the month of May. The number is going to call into question the strength of consumer spending for the second quarter,” said Kevin Flanagan, chief fixed income strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Purchase, New York.

The decline in sales follows a report last week showing private businesses unexpectedly held back on hiring in May after expanding payrolls for two months, a trend which could undermine recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s.

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