Today’s reports on the U.S. economy were seen as relative positives mainly because retail sales reported up for July. Econoday had this take on retail sales:
Major gains sweep the retail sales report for July, a month that benefited from an easy comparison with a very weak June. Total retail sales rose 0.8 percent for [...]
Despite recent polls that show confidence is at a seven-month high, I get the feeling that many Americans are actually worried about their future. When I say most Americans I am talking about solid middle-class folks who are earning median or above-median incomes. Gallup showed in a recent poll that the people’s top concerns were still, [...]
Over the past several years, as the U.S. economy has generally underperformed mainstream expectations, it’s been my observation that when Fedwatchers start looking for tightening or (the modern equivalent) a withdrawal of extreme ease, it’s been a perilous time to be long stocks or short bonds for more than a brief period. We may be [...]
In a season in which the media reported that the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner rose 13%, how impressive is it that retail sales may have risen by half that amount in the weekend just ended? If you remember to keep adjusting comparative data for almost 1% population growth yearly, and apply a realistic [...]
Retail sales figures from the Census Bureau reported modest increases for the month of July:
U.S. retail and food services sales for July … were $390.4 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, and 8.5 percent (±0.7%) above July 2010. Total sales for the May through July 2011 period were up [...]
When Bill Russell led first his college team and then the Boston Celtics to title after title, he did it with brains as well as athletic talent. When he turned to TV commentating, one of his themes applies to the stock market now. That theme involved a team that had fallen far behind and was making a furious comeback. Russell would observe [...]
Chain store sales reported a very good November of retail sales according to today’s report from Retail Metrics:
Overall, sales at the more than 30 chains tracked by Retail Metrics surpassed estimates last month, rising 5.3 percent for a 14th straight gain, compared with a prediction of 3.5 percent. Sales gained 8.7 percent in March, [...]
Retailers are counting on holiday sales this year but on the other hand they are rather pessimistic. It remains to be seen if holiday sales will improve substantially this year. The latest Gallup survey on Christmas sales showed sales expectations were lower than 2009:
But look at the gap between upper income (those earning [...]
There are a number of indicators that we watch to give us an idea of where the economy may be headed. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped significantly in its latest report for September.
The Conference Board’s index is down nearly five points in September to 48.5 from 53.2 a month earlier, for the [...]
Today the NBER reported officially that our Recession began in December, 2007 and ended in June, 2009. While that is nice to hear, in my opinion, when you get down on the ground where most of us are, it doesn’t feel as if it has ended.
There have been a number of positive indicators that [...]
Retail sales were mixed, if not a bit disappointing in June. Personal savings increased to 4.0% in May.
Here is a summary of the results from various sources:
Retailers from department stores to teen retailers responded to limited demand with increased markdowns. Big sales during June are common as retailers try to clear shelves for [...]