If the U.S. economy has a hero in 2019, it’s the American consumer. Amid a global slowdown and bearish forecasts of a U.S. recession, bulls have consistently pointed to robust consumer spending as a strong trend that can shore up further economic growth.
That may be changing. U.S. retail sales in September fell an unexpected 0.3% from the previous month to $526 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Contrast that with August’s 0.6% growth rate and July’s 0.7% rate. According to a survey from Reuters, economists had been expecting a 0.3% growth rate last month.