Americans pulled back on their spending in February, after a strong January | CNN Business


Americans pulled back on their spending last month after a surprisingly spendy January.

US retail sales fell 0.4% in February from the month before, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday.

That decline, which was adjusted for seasonal swings, was greater than economists’ expectations of a 0.3% drop, according to Refinitiv estimates.

Retail sales data, which is not adjusted for inflation, were up 5.4% from the year prior.

The February data shows that consumers eased up on spending after a stronger-than-expected start to 2023. In January, consumers splurged after a muted holiday season. January retail sales rose an upwardly revised 3.3%, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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