Headline Retail Sales Miss For Third Month In A Row, First Threepeat Miss Since July 2008

Tyler Durden's picture

And so the great American retail recovery continues being delayed following the third consecutive miss in headline retail sales in a row, despite what was ridiculous and erroneously touted as a record spending season. Well here come the 'product returns' as retailer margins shrink further into negative territory. Today's advance retail sales number came at 0.4% on expectations of a 0.8% increase, from a downward revised 0.0% (0.1% previously), which makes a mockery of both the car sales numbers in December which were the weakest link in today's retail sales, and of surging consumer credit as it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that US consumers are now using credit cards for the most basic of staples, forget discretionary purchases! And while the number below the headlines was modestly better with ex autos and gas coming at 0.6% on expectations of 0.5%, the prior revision took December to a decline -0.2% from a previously unchanged number. In other words, expect today's ex cars and gas number to be revised to a miss next month as as the Census Bureau learns some key number fudging lessons from the BLS. Yet here is the punchline: there have not been three consecutive retail sales misses since... drumroll please... July 2008. And we all know what happened in the months following. For those who don't, here it is.

Source: Census

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rosex229's picture

but, but, but... the economy is zooming forward!

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

[puts on Wile E. Coyote suit]


Lets do this!

midtowng's picture

The miss won't be reported. Only the positive number.

orangedrinkandchips's picture

fuck yeah it is! just buy some more AMZN!!!

or aapl!!


ZippyBananaPants's picture

Nothing big happened in July 2008

AU5K's picture

baked in.  plus if consumers are not spending, it just means they have more money to buy stocks.  wildly bullish !

AU5K's picture

your sarcasm detector is out of batteries.

SheepDog-One's picture

Thats gotta be true....Wall St salivating over the broke consumer, how many food stamps does it take to buy an Apple share? 

Strut's picture

Let’s see, avg. Food stamp benefit in the us is $125/mo, cash equiv = 30-50% so ~$37-65/mo. 8 to 13 months worth of food stamps will get you one share of AAPL. A bargain!

francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah they're probably all triple long RSI as we speak... & as soon as they frontrun Lloyd in topticking it, they'll bring GS to its knees and celebrate by going out & buying new yoga outfits...

CreativeDestructor's picture

Rally rally rally rally

disabledvet's picture

THIS JUST IN! "Due to a bad earngings report from Lulu lemon...a company most Americans think is a food btw...the United States has decided to attack North Korea. BACK TO YOU AT HQ!"

mayhem_korner's picture



Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?

mayhem_korner's picture



Marcia!  Marcia!  Marcia!

(ok, that's a bit far down the rabbit hole...couldn't help it)  :D

Coast Watcher's picture

No no, not at all. I always thought she was hot.

francis_sawyer's picture

until Jan got her braces off...

SemperFord's picture

C'mon guys, how about Peggy Bundy!

Clam McCain's picture

still bullish bitchez

slaughterer's picture

Well, ES, in a rare show of sanity, does not like the retail numbers, and it shouldn't.  

Short AMZN to death today.  

apberusdisvet's picture

Hope and change on propaganda, or is that Prozac?

fonzannoon's picture

Michael Kors seems to be hanging in there.

firstdivision's picture

Importing YoY inflation of 7.1%

SheepDog-One's picture

Gotta be great news....futures recovering into normal 'no matter what, green' state for euphoric George Orwell open.

slaughterer's picture

I give the correction 5 or 6 minutes today.  

RobotTrader's picture

Surging equities, primarily in the retail sector driving the S & P 500 to new 3-year highs.


XRT sitting at record highs right now.

And on top of that, "King Dollar" is also driving U.S. Equities to new highs when priced in foreign currencies.

Basically, we have a complete nightmare for:

- Peter Schiff

- Jim Willie CB

- James Turk

- General Jim

New highs in SPY priced in Euros and British Pounds



fonzannoon's picture

I can't speak for the rest of those names but you obviously do not follow Schiff.

SheepDog-One's picture

OMG...I cant WAIT till whatever morning this Rube Goldberg contraption flies into a million pieces and youre never heard from again.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i find pSchiff kinda creepy, politically

i don't thing we'd be friends

the other guys, i might get along with better

i would like to meet jimWillie someday;  just to shake his hand and tell him how much i have appreciated his incredible body of work over the years

guy's got a punch, too!

fonzannoon's picture

I hear you on that one. He does not lack confidence and people don't tend to like that. Sometimes he does not let his guests speak and that is annoying. He is also an unabashed salesman. But his general thesis is hard to argue with.

Ruffcut's picture

willie's posts should appear in ZH. He is the top gold bug with insights like no one else.

Theta_Burn's picture

You can add my name to the complete nightmare list....Fucking SPY

Downgrades/riots/Japanese Monetary Bukake, another up day.


slaughterer's picture

You forgot Bob Janjuah and that old dude that appeared on Bloomberg two weeks ago calling a top.  

mayhem_korner's picture

driving the S & P 500 to new 3-year highs.



The S&P 500 priced in gold is flirting with its March 2009 lows.  It's down a healthy 7% this year already...worse priced in silver.

disabledvet's picture

as the chart shows the retailers were the first to come out of the collapse. which was surprising to me because that normally pre-sages a broad based market rally...which indeed did occur. since the retail space is nothing but "a history of price wars" this year will be a great test of competitiveness while still remaining profitable/in business for not just retailers but in my view the economy as a whole.

Seize Mars's picture


Well, no, pSchiff has always discussed the meaning of a higher s&p as evidence of inflation. He has always said to look at it in gold units. If you do that, you see that the stock market continues to be a really, really bad investment.

There is really no secret here. There is no economic growth, just inflation that looks like growth, but it's illusory.

Read a book, man!

fonzannoon's picture

It was a good number ex aircraft but less so when you back out spaceship flex capacitor's. But you have to account for the seasonality of the petrified sap that has encased the mosquito's holding dino dna which will create dino theme parks and will lead to the tourism boom. So it's hard to take the numbers at face value is I guess what I am saying.

tinsmith's picture

Cramer says dinosaur theme parks are gonna be big this summer. He's gonna have the CFO on tonight.......

SheepDog-One's picture

I'm surprised at the Retail Sales miss....I figured I would have put it well into the green myself by buying a new Meucci pool cue last month!