Retail sales rose in January, but were dragged down by an unexpected decline in auto sales, according to government data released Tuesday.
While sales drop in Europe's high streets, the luxury market is thriving. CNN's Juliet Mann investigates.
Retail sales may have fallen in Europe over the last year but the continent's top luxury brands are keeping the cash registers ringing.
Consumers pulled back on their spending in December despite the holiday shopping season, according to a government report released Thursday.
Consumers slowed the pace of their shopping in November, but that might not bode ill for the entire holiday season.
American car buyers were out in force in November, with U.S. automakers leading the way to the best month for auto sales since 2009's "Cash for Clunkers" program.
On the heels of a record Black Friday followed by a Cyber Monday that went down as the highest-grossing online shopping day in U.S. history, there's one thing retailers know for sure -- shoppers love a good deal.
Even though shoppers showed up in droves and spent a record amount of money over Black Friday weekend, it's still too early to tell whether that holiday sales momentum will continue through Christmas.
The holiday shopping season reportedly got off to a strong start this past weekend. But don't expect to find a thriving U.S. economy under the Christmas tree this year.
Preliminary reports for Black Friday indicate that retailers may have seen their strongest sales ever during the all-important kick-off to the holiday shopping season.
Wal-Mart's same-store sales crept up in recent months, reversing last year's losses and trumping expectations, prompting the world's largest retailer to provide a sunny forecast for the holidays.
Consumers kept hitting the stores in October, despite economic headwinds and uncertainty that many economists had feared would keep them from spending.
Most major automakers reported sales gains in October, although the increases were a bit softer than hoped for ahead of Tuesday's sales reports.
Americans boosted their shopping in July, allaying -- for now -- fears of a consumer slowdown that might stall the economy.
Retail sales fell in May, dragged lower by slumping auto sales and marking the first decline in 11 months, the government said Tuesday.
Chrysler Group sales bucked an industry slide last month as the automaker's redesigned models contributed to a 10% increase compared to last year.
Store sales rose slightly in March, aided by a surge in furniture and home furnishings, and robust gains in electronics and gasoline sales, the government reported Wednesday.
Rising gas prices did not keep Americans from buying large pickups and SUVs in February, according to sales results from leading automakers.
Retailers logged slight increases in store sales last month as consumers primarily focused on paying for grocery and gasoline purchases, the government reported Tuesday.
Retail sales in the 2010 holiday season showed the biggest percentage gain in six years, an industry group said Friday, while a separate government report showed a December sales increase on strength in e-commerce.
Holiday sales lost speed in December after a strong surge in the prior month, with many store chains reporting softer-than-expected monthly results Thursday.
As the curtain lifts on 2011, the nation's retailers are celebrating one of the most robust holiday sales periods that they've had in years.
Retailers may have lost $1 billion of crucial post-Christmas sales because of the blizzard that struck over the holiday weekend, according to a report Wednesday.
The blizzard that walloped the U.S. East Coast over the holiday weekend struck retailers at a pivotal time, burying their crucial post-Christmas sales under a heavy blanket of snow.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season: Americans earned and spent more money in November than they did during the previous month. They also saved less.
Best Buy's stock plunged on Tuesday after the retailer reported sales and earnings for the quarter which includes Black Friday that missed Wall Street's estimates. The company also lowered its guidance.
Retail sales were solidly higher in November, the government reported Tuesday, fueled in part by deep discounting on holiday merchandise.
Gift cards seem to have lost their status as the perennial favorite of procrastinators this year as shoppers are showing a preference to give traditional gifts, and even cash.
U.S. stocks rallied 1% Thursday, building on the previous session's big gains, as investors cheered strong retail sales and welcomed the European Central Bank's plan to extend liquidity measures.
A full month of deals, capped off by extra-deep Black Friday discounts, gave a boost to retailers' store sales in November in a solid kickoff to the holiday season.
Preliminary reports of sales on Black Friday weekend are coming in.
After two-years of belt tightening, consumers are feeling the urge to splurge on this year's hottest holiday deals. Retailers eager to lure shoppers in are slashing prices -- even before Black Friday.
If you believe the stock market, the American consumer is healthier than they've been in years and ready to go on a major shopping spree during the holidays.
Retail sales rose for a fourth straight month in October, the government reported Monday, signaling that consumers are keeping their wallets open as the holiday shopping period approaches.
Retailers reported strong sales results for October on Thursday despite the still-struggling economy.
Wal-Mart's CEO told analysts Wednesday that although the world's largest retailer has been losing sales to its competitors this year, he expects sales to improve in the critical holiday shopping season.
Retail sales rose in September, the government reported Friday, fueling hopes that momentum will translate into a robust holiday shopping season for retailers.
Retailers on Thursday reported strong sales results for September, as shoppers loaded up on discounted items amid the still-struggling economy.
As the holidays approach, consumers are getting back in the buying mood, but only if the price is right.
Automakers continued to spin their wheels during September, with sales struggling to match the modest levels posted the month before.
Keeping your fingers crossed for a temp job during the holiday shopping rush?
Personal spending declined at a faster than expected rate in September, falling to its lowest level in more than four years, according to government figures released Friday.
CNN's Maggie Lake looks at how rising food prices are hitting U.S. families hard.
Moody's Economy.com is forecasting an increased risk for recession in the next six to 12 months due to the subprime mess, which has shaken investor and consumer confidence, bumped up foreclosures and led to a tightening of credit standards for most loans.
Oil and natural gas futures rose Friday, boosted by concerns about a tropical storm system forming in the Atlantic and reports that consumer spending and factory orders rose in July.
Wall Street luxury
Consumers returned to the malls in July after taking a breather in June, although worries about the future could make the rebound short-lived.
Following are the minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting, held Aug. 7.
The upcoming fourth quarter is the make-or-break period for the retail industry and the path leading to the crucial holiday season is peppered with landmines.
The outlook for the housing market looks bleaker than ever. Foreclosures are skyrocketing. Home prices continue to fall. And forecasts for a recovery keep getting pushed back.
April proved to be a tough month for the nation's retailers as higher gas prices and spending fatigue after a burst of Easter shopping in March kept consumers tight-fisted last month.
Mortgage rates remained unchanged this week, Freddie Mac said Thursday, following a slowdown in consumer spending growth and a tame inflationary reading.
Economic growth sank to the slowest pace in four years in the first quarter, the government reported Friday, as the weak housing market, coupled with higher prices, took a big bite out of the world's largest economy.
As homeowners begin to use more caution in borrowing against home equity lines of credit, consumer spending could be lowering, according to a published report Thursday.
Americans' spending kept growing at a healthy pace in March and February, as the latest government reading on retail sales shows showed consumers once again bucking forecasts of a slowdown in their buying habits.
The notion of the little guy striking it rich - finding gold at Sutter's Mill, discovering oil at Spindletop, or cashing in on a dot-com IPO in Silicon Valley - runs deep in American lore. But some...
Retailers got a huge boost in March from the early arrival of Easter, but the buoyant mood was tempered by dour sales forecasts for April.
Following are Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's prepared remarks to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress Wednesday.
Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and big chains that cater to low-income consumers could take a direct hit from the turmoil in the mortgage market, industry experts warned.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged for the fifth straight time in January. Following are the minutes from the central bank's meeting:
Following is the text of the testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs:
Americans once again spent everything they made and then some last year, pushing the personal savings rate to the lowest level since the Great Depression.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged for the fourth straight time in December. Following are the minutes from the central bank's meeting:
Economic growth slowed to the weakest pace in more than three years in the third quarter, as the government's main gauge of the strength of the U.S. economy came in much lower than analysts had forecast.
Economists agree: It's time to shut off electronic devices, put up tray tables and return your seat to an upright position. And some say it might not be a bad idea to put your head down between your legs.
Private equity firms, flush with more than $200 billion in cash, have been aggressively mining the retailing sector over the past 12 months for acquisition targets.
Retail sales fell for the first time since February as rising gasoline prices took a toll on consumer spending in June.
A new report tracking national retail sales in May indicates that this year's run-up in gas prices has started to eat into an already slowing rate of consumer spending.
Below are the remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the International Monetary Conference Monday, according to the Fed's Web site.
Federal Reserve policy-makers were unsure how much more they would need to raise interest rates, if at all, after a May 10 meeting, according to minutes of the meeting released on Wednesday. Below is the first part of the full minutes from that gathering:
Wal-Mart signaled Tuesday that it's clearly worried that higher gas prices could both eat into its sales in the months ahead and add to the overall cost of running its business.
Stocks got off to a positive start Monday as a big acquisition from Dow component Boeing buoyed sentiment and investors cheered an upbeat report on consumer spending.
Bond prices tumbled across the board Tuesday, sending the 10-year yield back above 5 percent, as investors digested reports pointing to the underlying strength of the economy.
Here are the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on March 27 and March 28:
Retail sales rebounded moderately in March from a poor showing in the previous month, helped mostly by a pick-up in automobile purchases, the government said Thursday.
Bond prices remained largely unchanged Friday following a four-day decline as inflation fears were soothed by a consumer spending report.
February started with a whimper. But on Wall Street, it just might end with a bang.
Stocks surged Tuesday, with the Dow closing above 11,000 for the first time in a month, as lower oil prices and a jump in retail sales helped quell worries about a slowdown in consumer spending.
While the world sees the Middle East as a hotbed of tension and geopolitical strife, brand-name purveyors of American fashion, entertainment and luxury products are eager to bulk up their business, particularly in the region's lucrative retail markets.
The economy slowed sharply at the end of 2005 but forecasters are split as to whether the slowdown will continue through 2006, according to a report published Tuesday.
Stocks rose modestly Thursday morning after several better-than-expected earnings reports in the technology sector and a government consumer spending reading that showed inflation under control.
Consumer spending rose slightly in October while personal savings remained mired in negative territory, according to a government report issued Thursday.
The stock market rally faces its biggest challenge yet in the coming week, when investors will get hit with reports on holiday sales, the job market, manufacturing, housing and just about every other facet of the economy.
Here's what consumers can look forward to when the midnight bell-ringing comes to a stop: sharply higher home heating bills, holiday credit card bills, rising interest rates -- and now what looks like a slowing real estate market.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Some investors are switching to defensive plays in the stock market as they bet high energy prices and rising interest rates will squeeze consumer spending and result in an economic slowdown or even a recession sometime late next year.
Hurricanes can bury a lot of things, but don't let them bury a very important nugget in Monday's personal income and spending report: the consumer fell off a spending cliff in August and September!
Treasury prices trimmed early losses Monday as investors looked ahead to this week's interest rate decisions from the Federal Reserve.
Burned by a tough October? Delirious with dreams of a rally in December?
Weaker-than expected sales at Apple Computer could take a bite out of stocks Wednesday.
For investors, the month of August generally involves chasing Frisbees rather than chasing the latest hot stock trend.
Retail sales, pumped up by a spike in purchases of new cars, clothing and other summer merchandise, rebounded strongly in June, a government report showed Thursday.
Bonds were muted Friday following a government report on inflation as traders ended the day early ahead of the long weekend.
Stocks eked out an advance Friday ahead of a long holiday weekend, extending a week of gains as investors looked ahead to next week's round of economic reports.
American consumers, squeezed with less disposable income, are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the purchases they do make, according to a recent study.
Bonds prices fell Friday as traders reacted to a Dow rally and mixed economic reports on income and spending.
Stocks looked ready to rebound Friday, after consumer spending and personal income posted stronger than expected gains and employment costs rose less-than-expected, and despite a mixed report from software leader Microsoft.
This is an update of a story that originally appeared on April 21.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Investors are doing a lot of worrying lately. Some are biting their fingernails about rising interest rates and higher inflation, while others are gnashing their teeth about signs economic growth is slowing.
Whether or not rising mortgage rates cool the housing market, they're going to put a multi-billion-dollar dent in consumer spending -- and soon.
Personal income and consumer spending rebounded in February from weak readings the previous month, the government said Thursday, as a closely watched inflation reading in the report showed slightly higher prices than expected.