Consumers spent less than expected in July as a pullback in auto sales helped cool an economy struggling to shake off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Retail sales rose 1.2% for the month, against the expected increase of 2.3% from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
The news wasn’t all a letdown, however: Excluding autos, the gain was 1.9%, ahead of the 1.2% estimate.
Considered a bellwether for an economy that gets two-thirds of its activity from consumers, retail sales saw an 8.4% surge in June that included huge gains in furniture and appliance sales. That June number was already strong at 7.5% but was revised higher.
However, those gains cooled as a resurgence in Covid-19 cases…