Even before Trump heated up the trade war, consumers in both the U.S. and China were slowing down their spending May 17, 2019 by IWB Sharing is Caring!via axios: Data: Trading Economics and U.S. Dept. of Commerce; Chart: Axios Visuals Even before President Trump heated up the trade war again, consumers in both the U.S. and China were slowing down their spending. China’s retail sales rose 7.2% in April, the slowest rate of growth since May 2003, a sign their economy is cooling significantly. U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.2% last month when analysts projected a 0.2% increase. However, retail sales did show year-over-year growth of 3.1%.