- US retail sales fell 0.4% in February after a revised 3.2% advance in January.
- Excluding gasoline and autos, retail sales were flat.
- Sales at restaurants and bars dropped 2.2% in February, the most in over a year.
- Persistent inflation is posing challenges to consumer spending and the Federal Reserve's interest-rate increases.
- There's evidence of consumer resilience, and February's print allows the Fed to maintain its hiking path.
Consumer Spending Is Challenged by High Inflation as Retail Sales Fall
US retail sales fell 0.4% in February, reflecting the challenges posed by persistent inflation. Sales at restaurants and bars dropped 2.2% in the same month.