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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


april retail sales

via bloomberg:

Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in April for a second month, indicating that rising unemployment is prompting consumers to boost their savings.

The 0.4 percent decrease followed a revised 1.3 percent drop in March that was larger than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Excluding auto dealers, sales fell 0.5 percent. ...

Economists had forecast retail sales would be unchanged, according to the median of 67 projections in a Bloomberg News survey, after a previously reported 1.2 percent drop in March. Estimates ranged from a 0.8 percent decline to an increase of 1.1 percent.

Excluding autos, sales were projected to rise 0.2 percent after a 1 percent decrease a month earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The decline in sales was led by falling demand at electronics, furniture, clothing and grocery stores.

Receipts at service stations also fell in April, even as fuel prices climbed, indicating Americans may be cutting back on driving to save money.

as predicted by david rosenberg. another dent in the green shoots argument, it would seem. it looks more likely that the freefall of the last two quarters has been replaced by a slower grind lower with the help of massive government support. recall that direct fiscal stimulus -- not reductions in tax collections, which probably facilitate deleveraging and accelerate contractions of monetary aggregates more than anything else, but actual forced spending by the government -- has only just begun and will remain small in comparison to the probable decline in economic activity at least through the remainder of 2009 and probably through 2011 unless more stimulus wends its way through congress.

UPDATE: charts from calculated risk.

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is the administration paying people to go out and spread the 'good news' of the economy?

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