Concerning the Christmas shopping season, the Associated Press’s Anne D’Innocenzio and CNBC’s Krystina Gustafson agree: It has stunk.
D’Innocenzio noted that “sales at stores have fallen for the third consecutive week as Americans continue to hold back on spending during what is traditionally the busiest buying period of the year.” Gustafson, apparently looking over the same ShopperTrak data as D’Innocenzio, added that “store traffic in the final week before Christmas posted the third straight week of double-digit declines.” Neither noted that combination of much lower traffic and relatively slight sales declines appears to indicate that the well-off are splurging, while many families of average means are AWOL. Though it’s hard to see how, the keepers of Christmas data at ShopperTrak the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers still believe they will end up in meaningfully positive territory when all is said and done.
Maybe — no, definitely — it’s expecting too much to believe that business reporters might figure out that millions of people being forced to cough up hundreds of extra dollars per month starting in January to pay their Obamacare premiums might be putting a serious crimp on shoppers’ appetites for extravagance.
A HORRIBLE CHRISTMAS WILL MEAN THE YEAR AS A WHOLE WILL HAVE BEEN AN ECONOMIC FAILURE.
ALL THIS IS BAKED INTO THE CAKE AND UNAVOIDABLE AT THE PRESENT TIME.
IT MATTERS NOT WHETHER QE IS $85BILLION MONTH OR $75BILLION A MONTH.
THE DAY OF RECKONING IS FAST APPROACHING...