Why June's Falling Retail Sales Matter
Because drop marks the first 3-month decline since 2008
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2012 8:23 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, May 30, 2012, photo, shoppers walk through the South Shore Mall in Braintree, Mass.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

(Newser) – Americans cut their spending at retail businesses for a third straight month, as a weak job market has made consumers more cautious. The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.5% in June from May. That followed declines of 0.2% and 0.5% in the previous two months. It was the first three-month decline in retail sales since the fall of 2008, during the height of the financial crisis. Some of the weakness in recent months reflects falling gas prices. But even excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending fell 0.3% in June.