In August real average hourly earnings fell fell -0.6% as nominal wages fell -0.1% and the CPI rose a stronger than expected 0.4%. On a year-over-year basis real average hourly and weekly earnings are down -2.4%.
With real wages falling so steeply no wonder the retail sales report was weaker than expected.
I continue to stick with my position that with wage growth so weak the economy can not sustain accelerating inflation. Higher inflation will lead to a weaker economy, not an inflationary spiral.