U.S. retail sales fall for first time in 11 months  In May, U.S. retail sales declined for the first time in 11 months, though many industry analysts attribute the fall to supply chain disruptions emanating from the ongoing crisis in Japan, Reuters reports. 

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that retail sales in the U.S. declined by 0.2 percent in May, which follows a 0.3 percent rise in April. Still, many economists had expected the drop to be 0.4 percent, and the lower-than-expected fall sent the Dow up more than 100 points in trading on Tuesday as many investors were emboldened by the stronger-than-expected  data.

Nonetheless, the slowdown at U.S. retail stores was likely caused by the ongoing supply chain disruptions in Japan. Many automakers around the world are still reeling as Japanese businesses endeavor to get operations back online following the devastation sustained after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami battered the country.

Illustrating the slowdown in consumer spending, which historically contributes more than 70 percent of the U.S. GDP, was Best Buy, which reported same-store sales fell 1.7 percent in its first quarter that ended May 28. Similarly, Toys "R" Us Inc. said its U.S. same-store sales declined by 2.1 percent in its first quarter.
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