Summary Box: Retail sales flat in August

AP News
Posted: Sep 14, 2011 9:22 PM
Summary Box: Retail sales flat in August

SALES FLAT: Retail sales were flat in August as sales of autos, clothing and furniture all declined.

WORRIED CONSUMER: The weakness was blamed on consumers growing more cautious during a month of wild stock market swings, zero job growth and heightened concerns about whether the economy might be tipping into a recession.

OUTLOOK: The economy barely grew in the first half of the year, slowing to an increase of just 0.7 percent. Economists are forecasting a modest pickup in activity in the second half, but they say it will depend on whether consumer spending can rebound.