Retail sales turn negative for the first time since February
U.S. retail sales, which had been the highest-flying piece of American economic data for most of the year, fell in September for the first time in 7 months, raising fears that the U.S. manufacturing recession may be bleeding into the consumer side of the economy.
The big picture. Data from the Commerce Department showed the drop was a result of households cutting spending on building materials, online purchases and especially automobiles. Online retail sales also turned negative for the first time since December 2018.