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Retail Sales Miss For Third Month In A Row, Worst Print Since January

Tyler Durden's picture


But the talking heads said that the consumer is back and jobs are soaring? Retail sales missed expectations for the 3rd month in a row (after the weather rebound was supposed to kick in?) with an unchanged 0.0% print in July (against expectations of a 0.2% rise). This is dramaticaly off the 1.5% growth rate seen in March. Across the board, retail sales were weak with Ex Auto & Gas up only 0.1% against expectations of a 0.4% gain. Department Store sales fell 0.7% MoM. So much for pent-up demand.

So - let us get this straight - Q1 was a disaster because of the weather (but retail sales surged and beat expectations in every month) and Q2 was the pent-up demand rebound and retail sales missed every month and slipped to six month lows.


Here is the breakdown by July retail sales components:


The weakness was particularly pronounced in Department Stores, which dropped -0.7% sequentially:


And the reason why Q3 GDP is about to be revised lower by the Penguin brigade: the retail sales control group posted a tiny 0.1% increase over June, the lowest increase since January when we saw the worst tied plunge since Lehman.


And while "harsh weather" was the spin for weak H1 retail sales, now it is the lack of wage growth's fault, or precisely what we have been saying all along. From Bloomberg:

Retail sales were little changed in July, the worst performance in six months, as car demand slowed and tepid wage growth restrained U.S. consumers.


The slowdown in purchases followed a 0.2 percent advance in June, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent gain. Excluding (RSTAXMOM) cars, sales rose 0.1 percent.


Job growth has yet to stoke the type of wage gains needed to boost household purchases, a sign the economic expansion will probably not sustain the second-quarter pickup into the end of the year. Some retailers must rely on promotions and discounts to entice customers, whose spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.


“We’re seeing decent but not great consumer spending,” Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York, said before the report. “Credit is limited and wage growth is stagnant.”


Nonetheless, inflation-adjusted average weekly earnings dropped 0.2 percent in the 12 months through June, the worst performance since October 2012, according to Labor Department data.


Among retailers, auto dealers have benefited from pent-up demand and easy access to credit, with car and truck sales up 6 percent in July from the same month in 2013, today’s Commerce data showed. Purchases cooled last month, falling 0.2 percent from June. At the same time, vehicle sales are on track for their best year since 2006.


Discounts and promotions remain popular. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT), based in Greensboro, North Carolina, reports 98 percent occupancy at its discount shopping malls and tenants want to expand their offerings, President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Tanger said.


“The great majority of them are looking to grow their businesses,” Tanger said on an Aug. 6 earnings call. “They tell us they’re allocating more capital to the outlet distribution channel than other distribution channels. So we’re excited about the demand for our properties.”

And since the MSM is finally figuring it out, here is the next punchline: as long as central banks are around there will be no wage growth. We give the MSM the usual 2-4 years before they grasp this final piece of the puzzle.


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Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:40 | 5086486 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

it must have been the warm weather

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:40 | 5086493 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It did rain a lot here overnight. There was no way I was going shopping last night. I may go out this morning. Will have to see....

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:43 | 5086501 wallstreetapost...
wallstreetaposteriori's picture

so much for that infinite weather bounce.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:47 | 5086516 power steering
power steering's picture

Pretty sure fruit bat sales are down for reasons other than weather. Sheesh

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:55 | 5086549 knukles
knukles's picture

Ha ha ha ha ha ha
Plentiful Propaganda and Infinite Money..... Yet nothing works.

Seems Stanly Fischer was thinking in the right direction.  Something terribly wrong.

Shop you fuckers!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:12 | 5086634 espirit
espirit's picture

Lest anyone be monkeyhammered enough to wake-the-fuck-up.


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:29 | 5087058 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

e-commerce web sites report sellers complaining of a 30-40% y-o-y drop in sales.

Causes cited:

1. flood of fake and/or cheap stuff now sold in the USA online (even on Ebay and Amazon) from China;

2. broke consumers;

3. internet sales tax; and,

4.high postal rates (which will probably be hiked again this year).


Outlook: "dismal to bleak."

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:34 | 5087095 WarHorse
WarHorse's picture

Damn ... with all the "good news" last week I moved my 401(k) to cash.  With this "bad news" news I will leave money on the table ..... SUCK IT YELLEN

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:47 | 5086517 linniepar
linniepar's picture

EBT, EBT I just swipe my EBT...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:00 | 5086569 MountainsRoam
MountainsRoam's picture

Never fear, the Q3 GDP will be 4.6%, cause they said so..

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:26 | 5088243 KnuckleDragger-X
KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Yep, recovery summer and pent up demend will fix everything...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:03 | 5086895 Cattender
Cattender's picture

i stopped at walmart last night after work.. WOW Was it Dead in there.. spooky.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:40 | 5086488 IronShield
IronShield's picture

But the stores in my neighborhood are full!

Sure, they are all wearing bandanas on their face but isn't that Bullish?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:17 | 5086665 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Coming soon to a mall near you


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:44 | 5086489 Tjeff1
Tjeff1's picture

Noise sarc/

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:40 | 5086491 order66
order66's picture

Down goes Consumer! Down goes Consumer!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:41 | 5086492 Tjeff1
Tjeff1's picture

Big will be inventories at 10 am.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:42 | 5086498 Tjeff1
Tjeff1's picture

In ferguson, its not a sale unless you pay for it.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:42 | 5086500 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

wow shaved a whole point off the futures, BTFD!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:44 | 5086505 Tjeff1
Tjeff1's picture

Macy's missed too.  Middle income getting hit.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:50 | 5086524 JRobby
JRobby's picture


It's crushed. Debt back to all time high.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:03 | 5086553 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



People with 29.5 hr/wk jobs usually skip shopping at Macy's.


Maybe ICE could take the new illegal alien children school shopping at Macy's.....perhaps a tad bit of relief?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:55 | 5086554 knukles
knukles's picture

Real after tax disposable income down what was it, 20%+ since 2008?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:29 | 5086724 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

at least sea world is getting clobbered, so there is some karma left in the universe...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:55 | 5086550 pupdog1
pupdog1's picture

...and, people figured out that Macy's previously carefully selected decent quality merchandise is now Chinese junk--at the same prices.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:45 | 5086809 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Thank god the only time I ever go to Macy's is when the old ball and chain makes me take her to the spring flower show.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:45 | 5086507 B2u
B2u's picture

then over on MarketWatch people are more interested in what Rush Limbaugh said about Robin Williams.  What the hell does that have to do with the economy?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:52 | 5086538 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture

Nothing to do with economy, but everything to do with what the mouth-breathers care about.

Iraq, Ukraine, and Gaza all pushed out of headlines with death of Robin Williams.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:57 | 5086558 knukles
knukles's picture

Keep the mind focused on the irrelevant.
All's well, bitchez.

Look, Kim Kardashian's left tit.  Yoo hoo! Ms Kardashian! You dropped your titty...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:16 | 5086660 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

Titty is a funny word.  I think I'll buy some stocks.


Yeah titties!!!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:19 | 5086681 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Her tits have to be huge to counter-weight dat ass!!

Any ass you can set a drink on while standing up is too big IMO

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:29 | 5088256 KnuckleDragger-X
KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Long bread and circus's...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:46 | 5086509 dobermangang
dobermangang's picture

Only things selling well now are: Ammo, handguns, all guns near St. Louis, going out of business signs, office space available signs, lotto scratch-offs and Robin Williams movie DVDs.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:52 | 5086536 corporatewhore
corporatewhore's picture

add to the list: airplane shots

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:46 | 5086510 ekm1
ekm1's picture







Profit must always be >0, otherwise output shuts down


End of Lecture

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:51 | 5086528 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I totally picture you standing on the street doing this to people as they walk by.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:52 | 5086539 ekm1
ekm1's picture

:-) Right on Bay Street, Toronto Downtown, in front of TSX

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:55 | 5086552 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture



Every pullback will not be allowed to go past 4%, so BTFD because the Fed always has your back.


End of lecture.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:00 | 5086578 ekm1
ekm1's picture

If you ever read my comments, I do not rule out Dow at 20k, next week and 30k next month, 40k the other month and 50k in december.


Just type up digits on computers. No biggie, until wolrd dumps USD in its entirety

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:10 | 5086612 AssFire
AssFire's picture

ekm ruled out Dow at 20k and even picked the crash based on petroleum war...ekm1 is wiser and now knows the can kicking can and will last much longer.

(Can't blame you, I thought it was due to happen any day for 6 years now)

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:11 | 5086624 ekm1
ekm1's picture

Hey, hello there.

My forecasts were made in May 2013.


I still stand by oil as low as $20 very soon, or world dumps USD totally


I never ruled out dow at 20k. I always said that the "market" is dead and means nothing.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:15 | 5086639 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Remember I am in Texas where we are producing more than at any time in history, yet the price remains manipulated against deflation (like everything everywhere). No argument here- just thought the Dow was at about 15k when you called the collapse.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:15 | 5086651 ekm1
ekm1's picture

Oh, the oil industry toolmaker.

Yes, I do remember very well.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:29 | 5087698 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

The perspecitve from the power generation industry shows all cylinders hitting too.  We are constantly running at full capacity here.  Someone is sure sucking down the power.  Have they moved HAARP south?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 14:34 | 5088273 KnuckleDragger-X
KnuckleDragger-X's picture

With the shutdown of coal generators y'all will have plenty of demand...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:13 | 5086641 ekm1
ekm1's picture

What I always said is that any point above 11k for Dow is totally useles. Just numbers on computers.


Whether it's 15k or 20k or 25k, it makes no difference

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:56 | 5086859 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Economic expanison requires profit expansion...


Just having profits >0 is not sufficient.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:27 | 5087683 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture


Profit must always be >0, otherwise output shuts down"


Ahh, so true - except when you use the new, patented "Amazon Correction Factor", which magically converts any number below zero to an absolute value due to....VOLUME!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:47 | 5086514 DaMule
DaMule's picture

OMG, a polar vortex is predicted to hit in September!! What happens then???

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:58 | 5086566 knukles
knukles's picture

I'll have to wear a sweater?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:17 | 5086667 espirit
espirit's picture

Down here in nmewnland we'll still be swatting mosquitoes.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:18 | 5086677 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture

Imagine the TEARS when that hurricane didn't make US landfall a month ago.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:49 | 5086520 J J Pettigrew
J J Pettigrew's picture

Remove disposable income from the middle class consumer, via no interest rates, taxes and fees, higher energy costs, health insurance mandates.....and you are left

with empty pockets.  We are in Japan's footsteps, both victims of bad economic policy and a super aggressive China.  China wins.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:02 | 5086586 knukles
knukles's picture

We are on the same path as Japan with additional burdens of our friendly MIC, a militarized terror inducing poletzi, and unlimited new yet to be registered criminally insane Democrats with Hispanic accents carrying bazillions of germs and diseases and a Nobility raping its peasantry having enslaved them while still providing the illusion of freedom via bread and circuses.

What could be better?

Back to what work, serfs?!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:31 | 5087710 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

Wow, and I thought from reading here that it was all due to us evil Jews....

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:50 | 5086522 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture

Rally ahead!

Bad economic news = Interest rate hike later than sooner.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:50 | 5086523 praps
praps's picture

Good start to Q3 GDP

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:51 | 5086527 himaroid
himaroid's picture

They could have lied better than that. I need to reload TLT.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:51 | 5086530 oudinot
oudinot's picture

I believe if MSM,CNBS started to get gloomy about the economy, stock market, the economy would pick up substantially.

Unconsciously, even the sheeple realize the constant lies that MSM distribute are absolutely the opposite of reality.  Hence, counter intuitively, if the MSM took the other side, the economy would do better.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:16 | 5086664 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture

I too think the sheeple realize the numbers are doctored.

Being sheeple, however, they have decided to ride the crazy train to the top, and think they can sell off just before the crash (that they will see coming).

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:50 | 5086533 yogibear
yogibear's picture

And it's green.

They'll spin it for the bots, good for +100 pts on the DOW.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:51 | 5086534 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

And these are the manipulated government numbers.  Just think about how bad it really is.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:53 | 5086546 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

MSM (I know, I know) had an article on what chain restaurants that Wall St fancies. They had Chipotle with a $21.8B market cap with 1,700 stores. That is $12.8M per store! Poor old Wendy's had a $3B market cap with 6,650 stores for $451k per store.


I love Chipotle, but are people stupid or what?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:22 | 5086683 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Rhetorical question.

I hardly ever eat out except at the local bar or pizza place. Good prices, good food, good neighbors.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:57 | 5086560 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Much of the economic landscape is beginning to look like something out of  "Alice And The Looking Glass" A bizarre  and unrecognizable land, a land that is distorted and papered over by ream after ream of paper. This paper has been rolling off the printing presses of central banks all across the world in an attempt to mask reality.

Peter Schiff says, printing money is to the economy what taking drugs is to a drug addict. In the short term it makes the economy feel good, but in the long run it is much worse off. What was once the "long run" or "distant future" may be getting much closer. More on this in the article below.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:00 | 5086570 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture
"I talk about gold because hardly anybody else does. I do believe gold should be owned but I don't think it should be owned exclusively," he said. "I think people should have most of their money in equities"
Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:59 | 5086574 pupdog1
pupdog1's picture

If you need to rein in expenses, you quickly figure out the difference between want and need.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:38 | 5087737 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"you quickly figure out the difference between want and need."

Yeah, but even that is subject to change...  I buy stuff I say I need, as opposed to what the Mrs. wants.  She adeptly pointed out that she has something I want, and to get it I better buy her the things she needs.

Oh, and to not upset the equation - never, under any circumstances should you point out that there may be other vendors you could price-check first.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:01 | 5086575 shanearthur
shanearthur's picture

My wife used to work at Sears. In that year's time, the sales commissions fell drastically. Toward the end, Sears was contacting customers via emails/phone and offering them better online deals then they got at the store, so the customers would cancel orders, thus Sears didn't have to give out commissions.

Fast forward to this weekend, my wife goes back there to do a little school clothes shopping and finds out that Sears (may be just that store. I don't know.) outsourced their electronics department staff. Apparently, the workers you think work for Sears technically don't. I wasn't there, so I'm going off of what she told me with her conversations with the workers she knew and talked to.

If retail isn't dead, it sure as shit is on life support.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:14 | 5086644 codecode
codecode's picture

outsourcing retail staff... not good. Can't find any store help now as it is. I'd be happier with more simple electronic price check scanners...

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:15 | 5086965 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

Sears may not be the best example.  Kind of been the walking dead for years now.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:03 | 5086583 CHX
CHX's picture

It's bcs polar vortex 2.0 is looming later this fall. Scares the $hit out of consumers.

edit. PS DaMula beat me to it.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:04 | 5086589 photonsoflight
photonsoflight's picture

I guess I shouldn't have retired earlier this year. I've always joked that I was the economy, guess I was right, lol. I now have time to grow most of my food as well as take care of my children (no day care expenses), my gas consumption has practically stopped for the most part and I seldom go out to eat. I stopped going to the doctor and taking their prescribed poison. I hand build most of the gifts I give (yes I'm that guy). Life keeps getting better and better. I have never invested in stocks or bonds, I have a little silver and do most of my transactions in cash or barter. I mind my own business and am well armed to protect what is mine. If push comes to shove, I'll home school my children so the schools and teachers unions are on notice as far as I am concerned. Screw the economy, screw the corrupt government. I was going to start a business but have decided to stay small and lean and deal only in cash. I have no paperwork to keep track of and I have a short memory of recent transactions hehehe. Everything is good. Been studying Tesla and would like to tap the aether to create a non-polluting limitless energy source ( yes it's possible). I would never reveal such a thing though (it would get you killed to do so). Perhaps a death ray might be next, hehehehe.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:07 | 5086604 MATA HAIRY
MATA HAIRY's picture

I was with you until you got to that 'tap the aether' bit.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:28 | 5086717 espirit
espirit's picture

Try growing Moringa, if your clime allows.

Better than that stuff you're smoking.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:07 | 5086606 himaroid
himaroid's picture

12-14,000 retirees joining you every day. Keep up the good work.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:19 | 5086679 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

As the prophet said, "tune in, turn on and drop out"!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:03 | 5086591 viator
viator's picture

It was too cold, or was it too warm? It was too wet, or was it too dry?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:23 | 5086694 d edwards
d edwards's picture

All of the above. :-D

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:05 | 5086599 TabakLover
TabakLover's picture

ZIRP 2016

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:05 | 5086600 MATA HAIRY
MATA HAIRY's picture

the central banks are well aware of the effect of their actions. But they know that if they help the corporations suppress wages, the corporations will repay them with millions in speaking fees once they retire.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:09 | 5086621 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Sales missed because we have a muslim for president. He's opened the border to allow Ebola to get in and kill everyone. The Rothschild's figured if they could get a muslim with the middle name of Hussein elected by the people in the US that they should all be killed because they are too fucking stupid to be allowed to live around today's technology. Long live the caliphate.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:11 | 5086629 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The economy has become a twisted  PhD Keynesian academic fun house where all reality is throw out. Bad charts are turned upside down to look good. Bad numbers look good.

Expect Japan to implode before the US? It's the Fed's grand printing experiment of printing.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:23 | 5086688 d edwards
d edwards's picture

The burning question now is: will there be a surge in August because of back to school buying?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:28 | 5086719 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

There may be a blip that the MSM tries to rally on but people are hurting.  .Gov is going to need to pull Christmas shopping into September to try and create what looks like a positive trend.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:33 | 5086754 espirit
espirit's picture

Back to school buying?

They're closing schools left and right here because we don't approve the one cent tax increase.

If they want to go to school, send them to Mexico City.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:26 | 5086708 itchy166
itchy166's picture

They forgot the other reason that nobody is shopping anymore.  The world produces plastic junk, furniture made from particle board, electronics that are bugged by the government, and cars that shut off and swerve into oncoming traffic.  

No thanks.


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:20 | 5086994 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

A lot more to this than people realize.  Quality products still sell.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:28 | 5086721 nink
nink's picture

Retail sales are down because everyone is working so hard and earning so much money they don't have time to shop. During our vacations we are traveling to exotic countries at the moment to spend all that hard earned cash. It will be better next month, unless of course we have a polar vortex or an outbreak of an infectious disease and then all bets are off.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:26 | 5087035 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

Fuck the Fed!

Why would there be wage growth when interest rates are 0% forever?  How does that even make sense?  I imagine the Fed knows this but like has been planned they must push money to the top.  It also gives them the excuse to continue pushing easy money.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:31 | 5087075 MickV
MickV's picture

Apparently, according to "market" action, Bad News is Good News is back!!!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:33 | 5087084 yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

There's always something to blame.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:06 | 5087839 The Magus
The Magus's picture

I simply don't understand what all the fuss is about. 0.0% and 0.4% etc. If we were talking about 50% OK. These numbers are tiny. Who cares?

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