Friday, October 14, 2011

Retail sales make counter-intuitive move up

The US economy continues to bumble along, with today's featured economic headline the September retail sales number -- which showed an unexpected increase of 1.1 percent.
Retail sales rise, economy seen accelerating | Reuters: "(Reuters) - U.S. retail sales in September grew at the fastest pace in seven months as consumers shook off concerns about a weak stock market and political gridlock, giving a bit more momentum to the economic recovery.

The data, which beat economists' expectations and eased concerns the U.S. could slip back into recession, overshadowed a separate report showing a surprise drop in consumer confidence in early October.

The Commerce Department said on Friday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September, with strong auto purchases providing a big boost. Sales for August and July were revised higher as well.

"Reports of the consumer's demise have been greatly exaggerated," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist eat Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Conn."
If the consumer's demise is not so final as has been rumored so far, one wonders where Joe and Jane Citizen are coming up with the scratch to soothe their consumerist itch. Their incomes are stagnant, and the unemployment rate is officially 9.1 percent and in fact closer to 16 percent. If people continue to spend, either they're pulling the money out of their asses or they've got a new piece of plastic -- or two.

Besides, the global ponzi scheme is only being kept aloft one day at a time, and when the bottom really drops out -- which it most assuredly will -- there won't be any excess cash floating around to keep customers coming into a mall near you. Hear about OWS? Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

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