So much for claims that Christmas sales were good

With all the positive spin on the economic news, this anemic sales growth is pretty amazing. From the Financial Times:

. . . . Retail sales increased 0.1 per cent in December to $400.6bn, missing forecasts of a 0.3 per cent rise and logging the weakest growth since last May, according to a commerce department report.
Separately, first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose to 399,000. Economists say claims need to stay below 400,000 to sustain job growth.
December sales of electronics and appliances fell 3.9 per cent and department store purchases slipped 0.2 per cent. Meanwhile, cheaper fuel prices brought down receipts at petrol stations 1.6 per cent last month, while food and beverage sales fell 0.2 per cent.
“December’s retail sales figures suggest it was not a happy holiday season for US retailers,” said Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics. “In other words, households have started to pare back their spending, most probably because their real incomes have continued to fall.”
An upward revision to November's sales reading, from 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent, suggested that consumers did most of their holiday shopping early in the season.
“While there were several media reports suggesting holiday shopping was solid, [year-on-year] growth in chain store data did disappoint, and this data suggests the consumer, restrained by weak income growth, has lost some momentum outside autos,” said David Sloan, an economist at IFR Economics. . . .

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home