About Me

Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Note On Retail Sales

Sept. retail sales advanced a strong 1.1% for the month. This was a good number, but it was not
quite as strong as it would appear since hurricane Irene so slammed the US east coast in late Aug.
that important back-to-school shopping was shifted over into Sept. Even so, when you factor in
Aug., the average monthly change was a respectable +0.55% or 6.6% annualized. More so ok
because gasoline and fuels prices have been coming down over this period, thus strengthening
the inflation adjusted number. The series can be volatile but remains in a firm uptrend going
back to the end of 2008. Interestingly, both employment and the depressed real wage did show
some improvement in Sept. as well.

Retail sales tend to get wobbly and form a plateau at the outset of a recession period. The case
for this development has not been made yet.

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