Retail sales for December were lower than expected, especially taking into consideration low gas prices. Retail sales fell 0.9 percent last month, while core sales (excluding automobiles and gas) fell 0.3 percent. These figures are a greater than expected decline than originally expected. Analysts projects sales to fall 0.1 percent each month following a 0.7 percent boost in November. Core sales were expected to increase by 0.5 percent.
Despite these figures, economists remain confident in the economy. Guy Berger, US economist at RBS Securities Inc., says,
It’s a weak number but it follows some really strong ones and I don’t think it changes my general feeling on how the economy and consumers are doing… “Maybe the optimism a month ago got a little too heated.”
Many believe this decline is likely to be temporary as the overall figures for 2014 as a whole reflected a strong year of growth. Retail and food service sales increased by 4 percent, motor vehicles and parts sales by 8.1 percent, and sales tied to the home were also strong.
Read more here- “Retail Sales Plummet in December,” (Myles Udland, Business Insider)