A couple of weeks ago it was breathlessly reported that Holiday retail sales growth comes in at just 0.7%, Weakest since 2008:
U.S. holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers’ rising uncertainty about the economy.
A report that tracks spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 per cent, compared with last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 to 4 per cent.
Uh … well …. Never mind. This morning it was reported that seasonally adjusted December retail sales grew 0.5% month over month, and over 4% YoY. Just as analysts had expected.
The last two weeks [before Christmas] have seen the highest amount of consumer spending since 4 years ago, and the spike last week is by far the highest since 4 years ago as well. ….
Bottom line: the consumer may not have been as Scrooge-ish as reported yesterday.
Once again, the Gallup daily consumer spending report has earned its bones.