Despite an overall improving outlook, consumers aren't spending as much as many expected. Bobbi Rebell reports.
New concerns the economy may be slowing down. The latest retail sales report down 0.3 percent in June, the weakest reading since February. May also revised downward. The core rate, which notably takes out auto sales, gas and food, also fell. An increase had been expected. The news is surprising given that consumer confidence is at lofty levels, and consumer savings are at multiyear highs. Decision Economic's Cary Leahey: SOUNDBITE: CARY LEAHEY, ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The overall tone of spending at the mall is, at best, so so. So, once again, consumers have lots of good reasons to be shopping more actively than they are. Oil prices are down. the job market is strong. you can question whether or not we are producing good jobs, meaning high paying jobs, quote unquote, and wages are starting to rise, but at the moment consumers remain very cautious about the outlook." For example, clothing stores sales dropped 1.5 percent, the largest decline since September 2014 The data comes on the heels of June's disappointing jobs report, as well as a sharp drop in business confidence. Investors will now turn to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's take on the economy. She speaks on Capital Hill on Wednesday.