And there you have it; the numbers every mainstream talking head was waiting for, and they vastly disappoint, just as predicted. The past Christmas season was dismal for retail sales, indicating a steep decline in demand for goods and warning the markets that America is indeed in the midst of a major downturn.
Mainstream economists are attempting to put spin on these negative indicators, claiming that the decline “must be temporary” because “employment” and “low gas prices” will surely offset low consumer demand.
The reality is that oil consumption has been dropping since 2008, and the Fed was propping up prices artificially through fiat printing of the dollar.
Note that gas prices began falling right after the Taper of QE was finalized. THAT is why gas prices are dropping; because the global financial situation is becoming worse, and the psychological safety blanket of Fed stimulus has been removed. And, as we all know, mainstream employment numbers are utter garbage, with 92 million people knocked off the unemployment rolls. – Brandon Smith
(Reuters) U.S. retail sales recorded their largest decline in 11 months in December as demand fell almost across the board, tempering expectations for a sharp acceleration in consumer spending in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales fell 0.9 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in November.
It was the biggest decline since last January and exceeded economists’ expectations for only a 0.1 percent drop and implied a slower pace of consumer spending at the end of 2014.
Still, economists saw the decline as temporary, citing a strengthening labor market and lower gasoline prices.
“This isn’t the start of a collapse in activity as that doesn’t fit with the strength of employment growth and consumer confidence. Retail sales will strengthen again before too long,” said Paul Diggle, an economist at Capital Economics in London.
Economists at BNP Paribas in New York blamed the decline on difficulties adjusting the numbers for seasonal fluctuations in December because of volatility in holiday spending.
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