U.S. retail sales figures have dropped for the third straight month, down 0.5% in May. The Commerce Department said the Delcine was widespread across affecting cars, electronics, furniture, building materials and other goods.
Economist said with a continued slowing of consumer spending, companies will hold back in hiring new workers, instead relying on existing employees to do more work. It was the first time since the fall of 2008, when the recession was in full bloom, that retail sales fell three consecutive months.
Consumer spending accounts for 70% of spending in the U.S.
Persistent worries about Europe's debt crisis, slumping job growth at home and uncertainties about taxes and fiscal spending cuts continue to affect consumers who are instead paying down more of their debt.
"Weaker demand will give businesses yet another reason to be cautious in their hiring," said Scott Hoyt, an analyst at Moody's Analytics, commenting in a research note on Monday's retail sales numbers.
"Consumer fundamentals are weak," he added, "and while they are still expected to improve in the second half of the year, risks to that outlook are increasing."