Retail sales cooled in July as white-hot inflation weighs on spending


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Americans pulled back on spending at retail stores in July, a sign that painfully high inflation is starting to weigh on U.S. households. 

Retail sales, a measure of how much consumers spent on a number of everyday goods, including cars, food and gasoline, was flat at 0% in July, unchanged from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected sales to rise 0.1%.

It marked a major decline from an increase of 0.8% in June, which was downwardly revised from the initial report of a 1% uptick.

The July advance is not adjusted for inflation, meaning that consumers may be spending the same but getting less bang for their buck. When taking inflation into consideration, retail sales would likely show a modest but steady decline in recent months.

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