January retail sales data were not good by any measure, and they have economists trying to fit the puzzle pieces together today.
The chart above — from Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro — does an excellent job of illustrating the frustration. Recent retail sales data just don’t square with recent jobs data.
“Something has to give,” says Dutta.
“There is a widening disconnect. Either retailers stick with it and stay confident on the expectations that sales will improve, or they will be forced to cut employment dramatically.”
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