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A sign is seen outside a Macy's retail store in San Francisco, California August 14, 2013. Macy's Inc reported an unexpected decline in sales on Wednesday and blamed hesitation by consumers to spend on non-essentials, leading to deeper markdowns and a disappointing profit.
A sign is seen outside a Macy's retail store in San Francisco, California August 14, 2013. Macy's Inc reported an unexpected decline in sales on Wednesday and blamed hesitation by consumers to spend on non-essentials, leading to deeper markdowns and a disappointing profit.
(Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

SEAN SILCOFF

U.S. consumer lagging behind the recovery

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American retailers delivered a rude awakening to economists this week, one that may interrupt the unfolding narrative that the U.S. economy is strengthening. Whether or not the developments temper calls for the U.S. Federal Reserve to ease off on its quantitative easing stimulus this fall, it’s a reminder that the economy continues to lack for evidence of a truly robust recovery. Too many low and middle-class Americans are still struggling.