Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent in February, the Commerce Department reported Monday. A harsh winter helped put a damper on consumer spending, but so did higher gas prices and consumers choosing to boost their savings or pay down debt rather than go shopping.
Retail sales fell unexpectedly for the third straight month in February, according to the Commerce Department. February brought plunging temperatures and record snowfall to much of the US, and such conditions can be a particular drag on big-ticket retail purchases like cars and furniture.
Retail sales in the US fell an unexpected 0.8 percent in January, despite a surging job market and much lower costs for consumers. Experts say Americans may be using that extra cash to save or pay down debt, but retail sales should bounce back in the coming months.
Retail sales rose 0.7 percent in November – their biggest monthly gain in eight months despite a relatively weak Black Friday weekend. Cheap gas prices and higher wages helped fuel the November retail sales growth.