WASHINGTON (9/16/13)--U.S. retail sales increased less than forecast in August, with the biggest part of the economy unable to get on track, indicating ongoing slow expansion (The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg.com and Moody's Economy.com Sept. 13).
Sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month--the smallest in four months--from July, and less than the 0.5% predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Sales excluding autos increased 0.1%.
Limited employment gains, higher payroll taxes and muted income growth are dampening consumer moods about spending, which constitutes roughly 70% of the U.S. economy, Bloomberg said.
Although Americans are continuing retail shopping "slowly but surely," there needs to be increases in income and job growth to significantly boost consumer spending, Eugenio Alerman, a senior consultant at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, N.C., told Bloomberg.