MarketWatch First Take
Did mild winter melt June sales?7/5/12 1:49 PM ET (MarketWatch)
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The bill for our warm winter finally may have come due.
Earlier this year when it felt like summer was in the air, people hit the stores and this shift apparently contributed to the weakness in June. Results for the month were lackluster, with 66.7% of those reporting missing estimates, according to Thomson Reuters. Read how retailers post worst June sales in three years.
With the sweltering weather now covering most of the country, you'd think consumers would be taking refuge in malls simply to soak up the air conditioning, and maybe do a little spending. Of course, the tropical storm in the Southeast, massive power outages in the mid-Atlantic region and fires in Colorado also could have had an impact.
One month doesn't mean everything, but the larger backdrop isn't pretty. Last week's data showed that consumer spending in May was flat and that March and April had been revised downward, making the second quarter look worse than it had before.
Add in the recent stock-market weakness, the mess in Europe and concern about employment, and it's not shocking that people aren't going on shopping sprees. In fact, it's almost heartening they're not while things are looking so bad.
But maybe not for long. Back-to-school shopping season and the hope of redemption can't be far away.
-- , commentary editor