Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Retail Sales Up in November, Down on Black Friday Weekend!

By Reginald Kaigler (DEMCAD)

Although, the media is still celebrating strong retail sales in November, the numbers are clear that the most important shopping days were indeed a disaster.

Census Bureau said November sales rose 0.7% throughout November (which includes Black Friday), but the biggest shopping days of the year were very disappointing.

Retail sales raise hopes for 2014

Retail sales in the brick and mortar stores during the Black Friday weekend (including Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday) were down nearly 3% nationwide with a loss of $1.7 billion from last year. the average amount of money spent by an American during the four day weekend dropped to $407.02 from $423.55. The total sales dropped to $57.4 billion, drop 3% from last year’s $59.1 billion.

Gloomy Numbers for Holiday Shopping’s Big Weekend

Even the seemingly optimistic report was misleading. Here's a section of USAToday's article,

"....A "temporary reprieve from pump prices, and a lingering wealth effect from rising home prices and record-high equity markets have helped support consumer confidence and consumer spending,'' Piegza wrote in a note to clients. "Going forward, however, temporary factors can only do so much.''
The growth was highly unbalanced, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. Cuts in food-stamp benefits held down food sales, and apparel sales are so weak that clothing prices are falling amid a highly promotional holiday season.
"People are buying big things — but they aren't buying clothes,'' Swonk said. "Grocers are complaining.''..."

Tim Mullaney, USA TODAY 

These numbers can't be used to justify Dow 16,000.

Last week, jobless claims surged by 68,000 to 368,000 new people filing for initial unemployment benefits. I don't find this to be very alarming, because the only reason why the numbers drop is because of seasonal jobs. Simply put, there weren't any jobs to begin with. 

Initial jobless claims surge to 2-month high amid holiday volatility


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