- by New Deal democrat The initial spin on this morning’s delayed retail sales report for January has been positive, with for example the Wall Street Journal calling it a “rebound” and “a sign of solid economic momentum in the first quarter.” Ummmmm, No. Both nominally and in real terms, retails sales did improve by +0.2% in January over December. The problem is, both November and December were revised downward. In particular, December’s initially reported poor -1.2% showing got even worse, to -1.6% nominally. In other words, for the two months combined, retail sales even measured nominally declined by -0.2%. Here’s what they look like in real terms through January: Because real retail sales tend to lead employment (red in the graph below) with a variable lag on
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- by New Deal democrat
I expect to put up a more detailed look at Seeking Alpha, probably tomorrow. Once it is up, I will link to it here.