Larry Kudlow, the economist and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said the two-month drop in retail sales is a bad sign for the economy as stocks reach record highs.
“I’m glad consumer prices are low, I’m not fine with monthly declines in retail sales,” Kudlow said on CNBC. Earlier in the day, the Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index was unchanged in June. Food prices were stable and rents were higher, but the cost of gasoline, mobile phones services, airline fares, apparel, household furnishings, new vehicles and used cars and trucks declined.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.2 percent last month, weighed down by declines at gas stations, clothing stores and supermarkets. Americans also cut back on restaurants, bars and hobbies.
The S&P 500 stock index climbed 0.5 percent to close at 2,459.27 as investors speculated the disappointing economic data would reduce