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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Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:49 | 2157008 dcb
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Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2157016 rosex229
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but, but, but... the economy is zooming forward!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:59 | 2157056 JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

[puts on Wile E. Coyote suit]


Lets do this!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:04 | 2157077 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

not for you it isn't.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:05 | 2157086 midtowng
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The miss won't be reported. Only the positive number.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:40 | 2157214 orangedrinkandchips
orangedrinkandchips's picture

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

or aapl!!


Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:57 | 2157051 4realmoney
Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:49 | 2157010 ZippyBananaPants
ZippyBananaPants's picture

Nothing big happened in July 2008

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2157015 AU5K
AU5K's picture

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

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2157020 slaughterer
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MDB is that you?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:57 | 2157050 AU5K
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your sarcasm detector is out of batteries.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:56 | 2157045 SheepDog-One
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Thats gotta be true....Wall St salivating over the broke consumer, how many food stamps does it take to buy an Apple share? 

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:07 | 2157085 Strut
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!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:24 | 2157155 Use of Weapons
Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:00 | 2157060 francis_sawyer
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...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2157017 CreativeDestructor
CreativeDestructor's picture

Rally rally rally rally

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:51 | 2157021 CreativeDestructor
CreativeDestructor's picture

Toga toga toga toga

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:54 | 2157037 tinsmith
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Tora Tora Tora

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:56 | 2157044 francis_sawyer
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Lulu Lulu Lulu

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:57 | 2157049 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Robo Robo Robo

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:02 | 2157068 slaughterer
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Apple, Apple. Apple...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:06 | 2157087 disabledvet
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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!"

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:07 | 2157093 mayhem_korner
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Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:11 | 2157103 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Tyler Tyler Tyler

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:17 | 2157113 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Marcia!  Marcia!  Marcia!

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

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 11:18 | 2157338 Coast Watcher
Coast Watcher's picture

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

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 11:48 | 2157443 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

until Jan got her braces off...

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 13:38 | 2158010 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

C'mon guys, how about Peggy Bundy!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:52 | 2157022 Clam McCain
Clam McCain's picture

still bullish bitchez

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:52 | 2157025 slaughterer
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Well, ES, in a rare show of sanity, does not like the retail numbers, and it shouldn't.  

Short AMZN to death today.  

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:52 | 2157026 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Hope and change on propaganda, or is that Prozac?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:53 | 2157032 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Michael Kors seems to be hanging in there.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:54 | 2157033 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Importing YoY inflation of 7.1%

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:55 | 2157034 Cognitive Dissonance
Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:54 | 2157035 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

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

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:05 | 2157082 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

I give the correction 5 or 6 minutes today.  

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:56 | 2157039 RobotTrader
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



Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:59 | 2157057 fonzannoon
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I can't speak for the rest of those names but you obviously do not follow Schiff.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:00 | 2157061 SheepDog-One
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OMG...I cant WAIT till whatever morning this Rube Goldberg contraption flies into a million pieces and youre never heard from again.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:03 | 2157070 slewie the pi-rat
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!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:07 | 2157092 fonzannoon
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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.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:10 | 2157100 Ruffcut
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willie's posts should appear in ZH. He is the top gold bug with insights like no one else.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:03 | 2157073 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

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

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


Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:04 | 2157075 slaughterer
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You forgot Bob Janjuah and that old dude that appeared on Bloomberg two weeks ago calling a top.  

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:09 | 2157099 mayhem_korner
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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.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:10 | 2157102 disabledvet
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.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:18 | 2157123 Seize Mars
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!

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:56 | 2157046 fonzannoon
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.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:02 | 2157066 tinsmith
tinsmith's picture

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

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:58 | 2157054 SheepDog-One
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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!

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