(NEW YORK) — U.S. retail sales fell flat last month, amounting to the weakest reading for retailers since the beginning of the year, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
Yahoo! Finance’s Rick Newman said car sales were part of the problem.
“Auto sales fell back and that’s with some fairly steep discounts. Automakers have been increasing their discounts to keep the cars moving and they’ve also been ramping up lending, including sub-prime lending. Even with that, we’ve seen a fall back in auto sales,” he said.
Newer, lower paying jobs also played a role in the dismal report, according to Newman.
“The catch that you don’t really notice in those job numbers is that a lot of the jobs that are coming back pay a lot less than the jobs we lost in the recession. Families just don’t have as much disposable income as they used to,” he explained.
Newman said the weak reading could be a concern. “We’re getting in to the back to school season; very important for retailers, that’s an important sign of how healthy consumers are and the signs are not great,” he added.
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Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Erin McClam, CNN