Monday, November 16, 2009

Retail sales up?

"Sales at retailers rose more than expected in October, boosted largely by auto sales, but the previous month's figures were revised sharply downward. In a report that points to a gradual improvement in spending, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.4% last month, largest advance since August, after dropping a revised 2.3% in September. Sales in September were previously reported as declining 1.5%. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 1.0% in October. Sales were boosted by a 7.4% jump in new vehicle and parts sales%. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sale rose a smaller-than-expected 0.2% in October after increasing 0.4% in September. Auto sales had slumped 14.3% the previous month after the expiration of the government's popular "cash-for-clunkers" incentive program that had buoyed demand for motor vehicles. Previously, the government had reported auto sales falling 10.4% in September."

Auto sales are wildly gyrating due to government intervention in the marketplace through the "cash for clunkers" program (with most of the profits going overseas to foreign car makers).

This continues to distort total retail sales figures.

This is not an early sign of economic recovery, but a sign of more danger ahead.

We're going to be in real trouble when the government can't print any more money backed by loans from China to fund phony "stimulus" plans.

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