Retail Gets Hammered

STILL WAITING ON THE CONSUMER RENAISSANCE … || By FITSNEWS || This website has consistently eschewed what we call the “rainbows and unicorns” view of the U.S. economy – which holds that 2015 is going to be a consumer juggernaut thanks to low gas prices and a falling unemployment rate. Don’t…


|| By FITSNEWS || This website has consistently eschewed what we call the “rainbows and unicorns” view of the U.S. economy – which holds that 2015 is going to be a consumer juggernaut thanks to low gas prices and a falling unemployment rate.

Don’t get us wrong gas prices have fallen (obviously) … but those “savings” are not necessarily creating new consumer spending.

And the unemployment rate is definitely down … but as we’ve repeated ad nauseam, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Anyway … while we love rainbows and unicorns, the U.S. economy isn’t there yet.  The latest evidence?  An abysmal December on the retail front.  According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, top-line retail sales plummeted by 0.9 percent last month.  Excluding autos and gasoline, the drop was 0.3 percent.  That’s the worst retail reading since June 2012.

Wall Street had been expecting a robust 0.5 percent increase in non-auto/ gas retail sales – and a modest 0.1 percent decline in the headline number (accounting for the steep decline in gas prices last month).  They got neither.  What investors wound up with instead was the biggest miss to expectations since May 2010.

Ouch …

We fully expect the mainstream media to pin this debacle exclusively on falling gas prices … but the numbers don’t lie.  The decline in retail was broad-based, with nine of thirteen categories showing lower readings.

That signals a softening consumer economy … not the surging one we keep reading about.

“We’ve said it till we’re blue in the face, but we really, really, really hope the American economy is improving,” we wrote earlier this month.  “But as we’ve said on countless occasions the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are far from ‘robust …’ and rather than give a false picture of the nation’s economic health, we think it’s important to call things as we see them.”

December’s retail implosion is yet another indication that we have not achieved “rainbow and unicorn” status …


Related posts


Blackbaud Confirms It Is Being Targeted For Acquisition

Will Folks

‘Bidenomics’ Jobs Report: Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Will Folks

Guest Column: ‘Bidenomics’ Is A Nightmare For Consumer Costs



South Suckistan January 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

The Chicken Little routine is getting really old. We get it, things are crappy in the South. Guess people aren’t too optimistic about the ‘Republican revolution’ we’re getting this year.

FastEddy23 January 14, 2015 at 10:17 am

The latest big snooze from the fed capital is as usual malicious, muted mutterings about climate changes (often called weather) followed by silence. Rino Republicrat leaders following Boehner’s lead … Fear being the only currency spewed while Washington burns with the hot steaming gasses of delusional, derision, disturbance, disillusionment, divisive pseudo-drama … Markets are tanking (again) today because of this smoke screen of shi’ite dreck.

Oh, for the days of simpler more newsworthy bimbo eruptions.

New York Sucks Bad January 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Things are really crappy in the North. In fact, they are so crappy that the crappies are even saying its crappy up there. So being that you are obviously from the north, you must be full of …. errrr …. “crap.”

Yep! January 14, 2015 at 7:44 pm

It’s amazing how many Northerners flee their socialist paradise as the economics in their area decay, then get here and want to change everything to resemble the shithole they left up North…and all the while bitching about how ‘backwords’ the South is…yet they are all here for jobs.

Smirks January 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

They come here for retirement, not jobs. Some people take their money to a poor country to live like kings, some move to the south to do the same thing without the long distance.

Come to SC January 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

South East USA: Closer than Central America, new language easier to learn.

Yep! January 15, 2015 at 9:15 am

“They come here for retirement, not jobs. ”

Some do, some don’t. If I had to guess, because there’s no good stats on it, I’m guessing 50/50 % wise.

Either way, they’ve decided they like it better here than up there.

South Suckistan January 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

Who said anything about the North, you ignorant hick?

Reply January 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

If your talking about the South, are we to suppose you meant as opposed to the West fuck face?

Reply January 15, 2015 at 9:17 am


FastEddy23 January 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

Middle class consumers have had their incomes reduced by significant increases in taxes, primarily by BummerCare.

Unless and until there are huge, fat, permanent tax cuts, retail spending will continue to slide downward.

Flip Coscoe January 14, 2015 at 10:18 am

Excellent post. 2.5% of the alleged 5% growth in GDP last quarter was the government mandated Obamacare healthcare payments.

grandtangosuglydog January 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

just ask the people of Kansas, they had massive tax cuts….oh wait a failure there..oopsies..never mind.

FastEddy23 January 14, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Bull Roar. There has not been a significant tax reduction for the People of Kansas since the 1960’s (thanks to that brave new world democrat, J.F. Kennedy.)

grandtangosuglydog January 14, 2015 at 1:09 pm

I think maybe you should do a bit of research as your statement is not quite factually true. They currently have almost a 700 million dollar deficit due to cuts and its hitting the state hard..take a look and you might be surprised.

Republican Follies January 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm

He’s a Republican.

He doesn’t give a damn if it’s factually true.

Gotta go with the narrative.

Get it?

William January 14, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Republicans hate facts, because facts are biased against Republicans.

IDK... January 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm

There’s a lot of printed up money floating around…1 month doesn’t make a trend…you could see a quick turn and then what? If the money in bank reserves starts getting lent out you could see a “good” economy but then inflation really stoking after that…

It’s tough to pin the economic ups & downs to any single factor outside the money supply as the causations get too complex/interwoven.

Employment gains have been strong even though the labor participation rate is low…so there seems to be countervailing trends.

Because “growth” is based on a dollar that’s continuously devalued, it’s really hard to know exactly what is going on.

The “gov’t spending” part of the GDP equation and most growth calculations are totally irrelevant/absurd. You can have a economy shrinking, but when gov’t creates money and then spends it, it becomes “growth” in the equation.

You have former BLS employee John Williams saying unemployment is actually 23%(close to BLS U6) on top of it all.

It’s really hard to discern any real facts from a gov’t that lies almost all the time and who’s agencies manipulate data for political reasons.

It’s best to stay axiomatic and look at the situation long term using common sense. In this environment, people will drive themselves crazy trying to predict 1, 3 or 6 months out.

euwe max January 14, 2015 at 10:15 am

They have to make up the loss of their shopping carts by the homeless

grandtangoesuglydog January 14, 2015 at 11:05 am

watch it buddy…i am homeless and damn proud of it…i can sleep in that shopping cart

euwe max January 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

You have a shopping cart???

Bez and I have to sleep on wet blankets under the bridge… we don’t have shopping carts… Of course, we do get fresh, dry blankets and a case or two of cheap firewater after the first freeze when Rogue, bless her merciful heart, makes her yearly hadj to our culvert.

Manray9 January 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

Sic — If Ron Paul were president, and economic conditions were identical, would you cry so much gloom and doom?

Smirks January 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

If Ron Paul became president and slashed half of government, and the economy went entirely in the shitter a short time later, we’d be hearing that “despite his best intentions, Ron Paul just hasn’t cut enough government.”

Remember, if government can so much as fart when a private entity does anything whatsoever, it isn’t a true free market. Those damned pinko commies ruining our utopia!

Marilyn Morphadyke January 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

We are heading back into recession. The drop in oil/gas is a bad omen. It will roil credit markets, cause skilled people to lose jobs, and cause a big stock market drop. But I am glad America is getting energy independence.

Buffet owns trailers January 14, 2015 at 11:56 am

Patiently awaiting the next Black Swan. Be it a bombing or another government orchestrated bamboozle the next opportunity to make some big bank awaits.

GrandTango January 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Six years of telling us how great is – and you are still DUMB-founded when reality is counter to what Obama and his media feeds y’all…LMAO….


Leave a Comment