(Washington) Retail sales fell in February in the United States, which is paradoxically good news, since the fight against inflation presupposes a slowdown in consumption.

Total spending was $697.9 billion, down 0.4% from January, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday.

Analysts had expected an increase of 0.2%.

Compared to February 2022, however, sales are up 5.4%.

However, these figures are not adjusted for inflation, and the rise in prices therefore mechanically contributes to increasing the total amount of sales. A decline in sales in this context therefore means that consumers have filled their baskets much less.