The Commerce department reported that in February, retail sales missed once again and missed big and across the board, the third big miss in a row, with the headline print coming at -0.6%, far below the 0.3% expected, and in line with the -0.8% drop last month. Putting the headline numbers in context: December -0.9%, January -0.8%, February -0.6%. Surely a great time for the Fed to hike.
Excluding the volatile autos and gas, sales dropped once again, sliding -0.2%, below the 0.3% expected – in fact below the lowest estimate – and worse even than last month’s downward revised -0.1% decline. And with that the worst run in retail sales since Lehman is now in the record books.[Emphasis in original]
Falling gas prices were supposed to spur more spending on other things — so what’s happening?
I have several guesses, none of them good, and a few of them involving ♡bamaCare!!!.