Retail sales drop by largest amount since 1992.

The problem with a lot of these statistics is that they only go back a short time. As a consequence, claims that sales have "plung[ed] by a record amount" sound even worse than it is. My guess is that the drop in the early 1980s was at least as large, but saying that sales fell by a record amount sounds a lot worse than to say that they have fallen by the largest amount since 1982.

Retail sales fell in December as demand for autos, clothing and appliances all slipped, a disappointing finish to a year in which sales had the largest drop on record.

The weakness in consumer demand highlighted the formidable hurdles facing the economy as it struggles to recover from the deepest recession in seven decades.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales declined 0.3 percent in December compared with November, much weaker than the 0.5 percent rise that economists had been expecting. Excluding autos, sales dropped by 0.2 percent, also weaker than the 0.3 percent rise analyst had forecast.

For the year, sales fell 6.2 percent, the biggest decline on records that go back to 1992. The only other year that annual sales fell was in 2008, when they slipped by 0.5 percent. . . .



Blogger Angie said...

Wait, how can this be? Nancy Peolsi said that Cash For Clunkers revived the auto industry.

1/15/2010 1:52 PM  
Blogger Mark Douglas said...

really, which country? Is this means the retail management degree will be no use after 10 years. retail sales drop since 1992? so maybe we should sell the walmart shares.

2/03/2010 1:30 AM  

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