Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Retail Sales "Unexpectedly" Higher. Really?

Apparently when AP runs an economy headline, "Unexpected" (or a variant thereof) is in the template.

Let's look at more than a headline.

On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 2.7% from July to August (seasonally adjusted), and sales are off 5.3% from August 2008 (retail ex food services decreased 6.3%).

Then there was "Clunkers."

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales were up 1.1%

'Real' (inflation-adjusted) retail sales are about the same as they were in January 2002. No surprise if you're collecting sales taxes in Wisconsin, eh?

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