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June 12, 2008
DUDE, WHERE'S MY RECESSION? (CONT'D): Retail sales jump by largest amount in 6 months. And from the story:
Analysts were surprised by the solid increase in retail sales and noted that sales in April were also revised to show a respectable gain of 0.4 percent, instead of the original estimate that sales had fallen by 0.2 percent.
"Recession? What recession?" asked Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. "Spending in April and May was solid in just about every category."
Do we face possibly serious economic problems? Quite possibly. Are we in a recession now, as media folks keep claiming? It doesn't look like it. On the other hand, Megan McArdle observes: "The rise is less impressive if you exclude gasoline."
UPDATE: Reader George Zachar emails that "even without gasoline, sales were strong." It does look that way.