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NEW YORK (AP) — Americans trimmed their spending unexpectedly in May compared with the month before, underscoring how surging inflation on daily necessities like gas is causing them to be more cautious about buying discretionary items.
U.S. retail sales fell 0.3% last month, down from a revised 0.7% increase in April. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores fell 0.9%, while sales at food stores rose 1.2%. Business at restaurants was up 0.7%.
Adjusting for inflation, which jumped 1% from April to May, retail sales fell even further. The report offers discouraging news about the economy as consumers were still providing critical support to the economy even after a year of seeing prices spiral higher for gas, food, rent, and other necessities.