Reports say retail sales dropped 0.3% in January, the biggest decline in 11 months. Forecasts expected at least a 0.2%, so the drop surprised analysts and retailers alike. The decline has been attributed to household cutbacks on large expenses like cars and building materials. December, previously marked as an 0.2% bump in sales, has been corrected to a flat rate. Consumer spending as a whole grew nearly 4% in Q4 of 2017, posing the question: why retail is so rocky?