Retail sales despair
The report this morning about June retail has everyone down in the mouth, but it actually can’t be a bad thing that consumers are pulling back. Contrary to the model of an economy without risk, uncertainty, time, or capital, this is exactly what should be happening in light of the downturn.
The WSJ roundup:
The 0.5% drop in June retail sales was due partly to lower demand for cars and parts, which tumbled 2.3%.
Excluding autos, all other retail sales slipped 0.1%, after falling 1.2% during May. Economists expected a 0.1% dip in June ex-auto sales.
Gas station sales in June tumbled 2.0%. Government data show gas prices fell that month, which would lower the value of station receipts.
Building material and garden supply store sales fell 1.0%, the second big decrease in a row as the effects of government “cash-for-appliances” rebates faded.
Clothing store sales rose 0.6% in June, while general merchandise sales were up 0.2%.
Restaurant and bar sales rose 0.2%. Food and beverage store sales were down 0.5%.
Furniture sales were down 1.1%. Electronic and appliance stores were up 1.3%.
Health and personal care sales rose 0.5%. Mail order and Internet retail sales rose 1.0%.
Sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores plunged 1.4%.