U.S. retail sales endured their largest drop in nine years in December, an unexpected sign of economic slowdown at the end of 2018.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said retail sales fell by 1.2 percent, which would be the largest drop since September 2009, when the economy was still recovering from the recession.
The news about December retail sales was delayed due to the recent partial government shutdown. The January retail sales report was supposed to be published Friday, but right now, no date has been set for its release.
The unexpected slowdown has led estimates for fourth-quarter economic growth to drop below the expected 2 percent rate.