Humdrum retail sales in October, which followed a summer of lackluster spending, could spell trouble ahead for the crucial holiday season — already underway across America.
Last month, retail sales rose 0.1%, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists had predicted a more robust 0.3% growth, according to FactSet, a financial data company.
There was more bad news: Retail sales for September, which had previously been reported as up 0.1%, were revised to unchanged.
“The pace of retail spending has been slowing … since the middle of 2014,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist of research firm ITG. “The reason why is fairly simple —...