NEW YORK (AP) – Americans cut back on spending in December, the second consecutive month they’ve done so, underscoring how inflation and the rising cost of using credit cards slowed consumer activity over the crucial holiday shopping season.
Retail sales fell 1.1% in December, following a revised 1% drop in November, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
In October, retail sales ticked up 1.3%, helped by early holiday shopping.
Spending had remained resilient despite a spike in inflation that began almost 19 months ago, but the capacity of Americans to continue that spending has ebbed.
And cracks are forming.