Retail sales down in May for first time in 11 months

Yes, but the drop is not "unexpected" and less than predicted.

I bet that makes small businesses feel so much better:

Retail sales fell in May for the first time in 11 months, dragged down by a sharp drop in receipts from auto dealerships, according to a government report that could raise fears of a prolonged economic slowdown.

Total retail sales slipped 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales falling 0.4 percent from April's previously reported 0.5 percent rise.

In the 12 months to May, retail sales were up 7.7 percent.

Retail sales last month were depressed by a 2.9 percent drop in sales of motor vehicles, the largest decline since February 2010, as a shortage of parts following the earthquake in Japan left inventories lean and prompted manufacturers to raise prices.

Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month, the smallest gain since July, after rising 0.5 percent in April.

It doesn't matter if there was a 0.3 percent increase or decrease. The numbers are static. Retail sales should be increasing at 2 or 3 percent a month in a healthy economy.

The real increase is ten times less than it should be. Man, we've got a long, long way to go.