Retail and the consumer

Retail and the consumer

Heisenberg put a rational focus on this morning’s retail data. (quote from eTrade): “Just in, January retail sales increased 0.3% (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%), while the December reading was revised down to 0.2% from 0.3%. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.3% (Briefing.com consensus +0.3%), and the December reading was revised down to 0.6% from 0.7%. Import prices were unchanged in January, while prices, excluding oil, increased 0.2%. Export prices increased 0.7% in January, and prices, excluding agriculture, also increased 0.7%.”

Heisenberg’s graph is an interesting but confusing visualization (the data, not his presentation)

Compare same q y to y and inconsistent variability. He correctly points out, however, quote: “The advance read on Q4 GDP showed business spending declined for a third straight quarter, and consumption, while still strong, slowed sharply.”

I certainly agree w/ this point (my bold): “Perhaps more concerning is that it comes against record high confidence, record low unemployment and record high stocks. Something doesn’t add up there, and the problem is that the US economy is now leaning almost entirely on the consumer.”

When it comes to my investments, unknown variable mashups bug the crap out of me …. sigh

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