The Last Two Times Retail Sales Were This Bad, The US Was In A Recession

Earlier today, we sarcastically noted...

It wasn't meant to be, because, amid the carnage in Macy's, Nordstrom, and JCPenney...

 

... not even the US Department of Commerce would be so bold as to suggest retail spending has rebounded.

Sure enough, following a 0.1% dip in September, 'control group' retail sales rose just 0.2% (half the expected 0.4% rise). Furthermore, having fallen 0.3% MoM last month, retail sales ex-autos rose just 0.2% (again missing the expected 0.4% gain).

 

 

October saw retail sales declines in Motor sales, Electronics, Food and Beverage, Gasoline Sales, and General Merchandise.

 

Most notable is the drop in year-over-year gains (and downward revisions) to a rise of just 1.7% - the 2nd weakest since the financial crisis.

 

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But the picture is clearest when excluding the debt bubble-funded auto-spending spree. When one excludes autos, what we find is that the last two times retail sales were this weak, The US was already in recession.