Retail Sales Data Show Trouble Ahead

Retail Sales Data Show Trouble Ahead


Latest Retail Data Contains Clear Recession Indicator

The latest month's retail sales report may go down as the “turning point” for the economy. 

Not in a good way either. 

Retail sales data from December shows the slowdown is real and accelerating. 

Overall retail sales for the month were down 1.1%. 

That marks the second straight month of declines. 

Here’s the two glaring problems this information helps to spotlight. 

First, the month of declining sales was December. 

This is prime holiday shopping season time. 

If consumers are tightening up during one of the biggest retail months of the year, there’s not much reason for hope for improvement during less festive spending months. 

Second, is where the decline in sales is greatest. 

Three particular retail subsectors stood out as major drags on the retail sales total. 

They were auto sales (-1.2%), electronics and appliances (-1.1%), and furniture stores (-2.5%).

All of those are big ticket, long lifetime purchases. 

Consumers can usually make do with many of these items a few more weeks or months when times are tight. 

The sizeable declines in these retail subsectors is a clear sign of declining consumer confidence and tightening spending. 

As this trend continues, a recession will be evident and beyond undeniable in a few months time.

If you do nothing else, avoid these highly economically sensitive retail sectors.  


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