Shoppers, worried about jobs and the economy, pulled back on spending in June, slowing sales for most retailers to the weakest pace since 2009. And that could leave merchants on edge, wondering if Americans will spend more when the back-to-school season starts in late July.
“The consumer is in a watch-and-wait mode,’” says Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at consulting firm Kurt Salmon.
The figures have shown an uneven recovery. Discounters and high-end stores, for example, notched stronger growth last month.