- Retail sales in the U.S. fell for the second consecutive month in January, fuelling concerns over the strength of the economic recovery, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% increase. Retail sales for December were revised down to a 0.1% decline from a previously reported increase of 0.2%.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, were unchanged last month, compared to forecasts for a 0.1% increase. Core sales in December were revised down to a gain of 0.3% from a previously reported increase of 0.7%.

Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government''s gross domestic product report. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar added to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.68% to trade at 1.3686, compared to 1.3674 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 0.6%, S&P 500 futures indicated a decline of 0.65%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a drop of 0.65%.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger