The market is shocked, shocked I tell you(!) by today's retail sales release. Brace yourselves, dear readers, but retail sales for the month of December were down 2.7%. If you're asking yourself how this could possibly be, you haven't been reading this blog long enough. Catch up please, we can't hold up the entire class just for you.
Did we not have chain store sales for the month of December released last Thursday? And were they not abysmal? Yes, yes we did and yes they were. I know, I didn't blog about it. I was too depressed. Anyway, here we are yet again with a big market sell off because of a number that a kindergartner with a little training could have predicted a week ago.
I suppose there's a little ray of sunshine in the numbers - if you took gasoline sales out of the equation, retail sales for the month of December were only down 1.4%. That's what happens when gas prices fall 15.9%... even if you sell more gasoline, it's almost impossible to make up that much of a price decline. Then think about all the clothing discounts we've seen at the mall over the past couple of months - it shouldn't be a surprise that the clothing sales dropped 2.5%. In fact, it's a bit of a miracle it wasn't worse. Deflation is here folks, as previously stated. You read it here, maybe even first.