Is the economy doing well, or not?
If you skimmed the headlines last week, you may have seen that retail sales – the purchases we make from stores in-person or online – declined 1.9 percent in December. The statistic may have raised questions about the strength of the economy. After all, how could retail sales move lower during the holiday season?
Media headlines speculated that the spread of the Omicron variant, rising inflation, and consumer grumpiness were to blame. Economists had other ideas, according to Logan Moore and Megan Cassella of Barron’s. “Consumers had long been expected to pull forward their holiday shopping to get ahead of any supply chain backlogs, economists say.”
As you think back on when you did your holiday shopping, there is another important question to ask: What time frame does the 1.9 percent capture?
The retail sales report showed that sales were:
So, back to the original question: is the economy doing well, or not?
www.google.com, Search term: Retail sales report (see pdf at https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01172022_Retail%20Sales%20Report%20Screenshot_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/us-retail-sales-december-51642118411?mod=hp_LEAD_3&mod=article_inline (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01172022_Barrons_Retail%20Sales%20Fell%20in%20December_3.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-earnings-season-federal-reserve-51642208912?refsec=the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01172022_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Markets%20Biggest%20Risk%20Isnt%20the%20Fed.%20Its%20Earnings_5.pdf)
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