Matt Drudge laid it out pretty blunt. Officially, today’s retail sales sucked.
Meanwhile, here’s what Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg has to say:
U.S. JULY RETAIL SALES REPORT, IN A WORD …. SIMPLY AWFUL
We actually just got the retail sales data for July and in a word, they were simply awful. We can have all the inventory building in the world but it can’t last without a revival in final sales. Retail sales were supposed to be up 0.8% mum, according to the consensus, but instead fell 0.1%. The breadth of the decline was amazing — only autos (+2.4% — due to Cash for Clunkers), clothing (+0.6%, but that only partially reversed the 1.5% slide in June), restaurants (+0.4%, after a 0.2% drop in June) and drug stores (+0.7% — the third increase in a row, so this is an area of retail sales is worth being excited about).
If there was ever going to be a month where retail sales were going to rise, this was it — due to the “successful” Cash-for-Clunkers program. The program may be a “success” but all the government is really doing is taking away from future spending. The 2010 outlook for auto sales is going to be even further muddled as a result, but the hope is that by then, the economy will be kicking into higher gear
(J.D. Power published a new forecast for U.S. vehicle sales for 2010 and while it sees 15% annual gain from the depressed 2009 level, at 11.5 million units, that would merely be stagnant from the stimulus-induced tally in July). If not for that gimmick, sales would have actually declined around 0.7%, by our reckoning.
All that being said, Nordstrom came out with solid earnings after hours, and it raised its outlook. So perhaps this dour take on the consumer is already too backwards looking.
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.