Retail sales have disappointed economists’ expectations, fueling doubt concerning the American consumer and retail-focused exchange traded funds (ETFs). The sales numbers are likely to cause worry that consumers are feeling pressure from the credit and mortgage crunch, reports Parija B. Kavilanz for CNNMoney. Lets take a look at retail ETFs:

  • Retail HOLDRs (RTH) – down 4.5% for the past three months
  • SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) – down 11.7% for the past three months

Economists surveyed for had forecast a retail sales increase of 0.5%. Minus the auto industry, retail sales actually dipped 0.4%. Reports showed that building materials and gasoline station sales were the biggest drags to overall sales growth last month. Some experts say a weakening macroeconomic environment might cause the dropping retail-numbers trend to go lower in the upcoming months.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.