WASHINGTON -- Consumers have been almost single-handedly propping up the economic recovery, but new signs are emerging that they're no longer up to the task.
Retail sales were down 0.2% in May, the second straight monthly decline, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday. The government had originally reported that retail sales were up slightly -- 0.1% -- from March to April, but that figure was revised to a 0.2% decline as well.
The figures for retail sales, which include food services, come as consumer confidence has dropped according to some gauges amid Europe's economic problems.
There was some good news for consumers Wednesday. The Labor Department reported that producer prices fell 1% in May after a 0.2% decrease in April. The drop was driven by a 4.3% decline in energy prices, the biggest falloff since March 2009.