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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%.
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.