Retail Sales Coverage Reflected The Narrow View Of The Media
Published Friday, October 18, 2019 at: 7:00 AM EDT
Retail sales — an important factor in consumer spending, which drives the U.S. economy — declined, according to newly released data from the Commerce Department, and it was followed by gloomy headlines about shaky consumers and seen as a sign that the economy could be cracking. Actually, the headlines illustrate the financial press' often myopic and narrow view of economic news. Sales at U.S. retailers fell three-tenths of 1% in September for the first time in seven months. That's a fact! But news services reported that it signaled that a widely expected slowdown in consumer spending might be underway, without telling consumers the full story, including these other facts: Retail sales excluding gasoline, because its price volatility distorts the retail sales picture, rose +4.7% in the 12 months through September 30th. That was the same 12-month rate as August, and significantly higher than the +3.8% retail sales growth rate in July. While the one-month decline is not good news, the 12-month rate is much more important in judging the trend. The retail sales numbers have a history of volatility month to month, and three ticks down in September does not fairly reflect what's happening. Moreover, real retail sales after inflation have actually been surging for many months. Real retail sales excluding gasoline in August were up +3.2% y/y, from +2.4%% y/y in July. This figure is very strong by historical standards and it reflects the real consumer purchasing trend after inflation. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed the week on Friday at 2,986.20, less than 2% from its all-time closing high. This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial or tax advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Tax laws are subject to change. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. No one can predict the future of the stock market or any investment, and past performance is never a guarantee of your future results.
- Are The Five Stocks Driving The Market's Great Returns Overvalued?
- Despite Gloomy Jobs Report, The Economic Outlook Remains Bright
- S&P 500 Rebounded Today After A Difficult Week And Month
- China Financial Contagion Fears Come And Go In A Few Days
- August Retail Sales Indicate The Recovery Is Intact
- This Week’s Financial Economic News
- Latest Financial Economic News For Investors
- After Fed Inflation Policy Speech, Stocks Closed At New Record High
- Stocks Closed 1% Off All-Time High; Strong New Economic Data
- Stocks Broke Record High Again This Week
- U.S. Jobs Picture Improved, Covid Variant Risk Declined, And Stocks Closed Week At Record
- This Week’s Economic And Investment News
- Positive Earnings, Housing, and LEI News; Stocks Closed Week At A Record
- Today Versus Post-War History Of U.S Economic Cycles
- Stocks Surged 1.1% Today, Closing At A Record High For The Third Straight Week
- Strong Jobs Report Confirms Recovery
- What's Ahead For The Second Half Of 2021?
- Despite Strong Economic News, Stocks Dropped This Past Week
- Stocks Closed At A Record High; What's Expected For The Rest of 2021?
- Jobs Situation Report Pushes Stocks A Fraction From All Time High
- Inflation Rate Doubled In Past Two Months
- Fed Signals It's Thinking About Starting To Talk About Tightening
- Expect Inflation To Make Investors Nervous Through 2021
- Stocks Closed At A Record, Ignoring A Bad Jobs Report