Sunday, September 9, 2007

Retail Sales are Up in August, But Is It That Strong?

Just a quick note on retail sales for August. Using the table in the WSJ article it is clear that same store sales compared to August 2006 are up for the higher-end retailers such as Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, etc. But, the same store sales for the “bread and butter” stores (where everyone else shops) such as J C Penney, Kohl’s, etc. are down from last year. If you assume an inflation rate of 2.5% the “real” sales growth at other large retailers is not that strong.

This coupled with a loss of jobs in August is not a demonstration of the strength of the economy.

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