Spending

Consumer Spending Slumps

Along with confidence

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Consumers are spending less and losing confidence unexpectedly, data showed Friday, adding to indications that economic momentum is waning again after earlier signs of strength.

March retail sales fell 0.4% from February, the Commerce Department said. Wall Street expected no change. On an annual basis, sales grew 2.8%, the slowest pace since November 2009.

Cheaper gasoline didn't boost spending elsewhere. Most retail categories saw declines, as higher payroll taxes continued to take a toll and late winter storms kept shoppers at home.