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This morning’s September retail sales report indicates that consumer spending may be slowing down. The headline reading for retail and food service sales was unchanged in September, slightly weaker-than-expected following a +0.4% reading in August. Seven of 13 categories showed declining sales last month, including auto dealers (-0.6%) and building materials stores (-0.4%). Sales at electronics stores (-0.8%) and gas stations (-1.4%) were also down, although much of the decline for these two can be attributed to falling prices. Overall sales are still +8.6% higher than a year earlier, but since this report isn’t adjusted for inflation, sales are essentially flat on an annual basis.