Don’t expect retail sales to pull this economy out of the toilet. In October retail sales dropped .3% following an uptick the month before of 1.3%. The decline is being blamed on Hurricane Sandy, or whatever they’re calling it. (Some are calling it Katrina on the Hudson.) But that isn’t the reason. The storm hit at the end of the month, and you would think sales would have increased in the days before the storm as people stocked up on necessities.
Ignoring for a second that the Commerce Department said that Hurricane Sandy had both positive (remember those massive lines in various stores ahead of Sandy) and negative impacts on retail sales, it would be truly inconceivable for the sellside Wall Street consensus of diploma’ed PhDs, which knew about Sandy’s impact on retail sales well in advance, and thus could adjust its numbers, to actually, you know, adjust its numbers. Either way there is no way to spin the longer term major store sales trend (last chart), which shows that the US consumer, out of money, out of credit, and out of savings is entering the holiday season with little to zero disposable spending power.
A sequential decline in virtually everything except General Merchandise sales:
Read the whole thing. This is what Obama voters voted for, and now they own it, regardless of the rampant voter fraud. With so many employers slashing hours and laying off employees don’t expect it to get better anytime soon.