Friday, March 13, 2009

February’s Retail Sales

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that retail sales were down 0.1% from January to February.

This isn’t good news.

Having said that, this means that January’s 1.8% rise wasn’t a fluke: both months are now above December.

Also, if we don’t count motor vehicles (generally I am against nitpicking like this, but gee whiz, do you think people are inordinately worried about buying some makes of car these days?) retail sales were actually up in February.

Lastly, retail sales tend to be a coincident indicator: they peak and trough at the same time as the whole economy. The more months we string together, the more likely it is that the economy troughed around the new year.

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