Sunday, November 30, 2008

Retail sales down 2.8% in October, up 3% Black Friday:

That doesn't sound right. Perhaps it's got something to do with gasoline purchases (part of October, not part of B.F.?).

Still, it seems odd.

BE AWARE: The +3% figure comes from ShopperTrak, a firm that takes foot traffic and then extrapolates to sales. They have an uneven record. If memory serves, they've released boffo numbers for Thanksgiving weekends that don't square with final store reports or credit card figures.

If however, the U.S. comsumer is still spending like mad - even in the wake of tremendous losses in 401Ks and actual and pending layoffs - you've got to wonder what it takes to cool the spending impulse.

Also, the ShopperTrak number seems to be the only one driving the news this weekend.

UPDATE: It appears skepticism is justified.


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