Sunday, November 29, 2009

Retail Numbers are Universally Disappointing

Initial retail sales figures have come out for Black Friday and they were poor and below most forecasts. Before we get to the numbers let's challenge the prognosticators. Estimates for this year's retail sales on Black Friday generally were strongly favorable when compared to the cataclysm of 2008. What world are these prognosticators living in? The facts are hard to avoid, yet the estimates seem based upon the foolish notion that American consumers will continue to ignore reality despite 17% unemployment, 1 in 4 mortgage holders underwater and an unsure retirement lying in front of them. How can this be, haven't we moved to a "new normal" and assuming we have (I do), when are analysts going to catch up. I feel like they spend way too much time watching the happy talk on CNBC.

Initial estimates show retail sales increased .5% over last years, but the Northeast numbers showed a 5% decrease from the paltry 2008 numbers. How can that info be spun positively, frankly, I have no idea. I don't doubt, however, that the bulls and the senseless cheerleaders on CNBC will attempt to do so.

1 comment:

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