WAIT: Were Retail Sales In December Actually Really Strong?

Girls women shopping london

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Earlier we mentioned weak December retail sales.They were expected to grow by 0.3% but only grew by 0.1%.

Ex-autos, they were expected to grow by 0.3% but actually shrank by 0.2%.

Bummer right?

But wait, there’s more!

As Todd Sullivan points out, November retail sales were revised from 0.2% growth to 0.4% growth.

So instead of growth of 0.2% (November) and 0.3% (December) we got 0.4% (November) and 0.1% (December) which works out to virtually the same two-month growth.

What’s more, as Goldman observed, October was unusually big due to the iPhone 4S released — thus pulling forward demand.

Bottom line: This could easily be construed as a very solid report without any real blemishes.