Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Retail Sales Much Worse Than Expected…

Futures are way down following this report… the DOW futures are down nearly 200 points, and S&P futures are off by 20.

This is what I’ve been saying about the effects of the collapse of the credit bubble/ shadow banking system. When less credit is created, growth ends. People haven’t wanted to acknowledge that and therefore corporate earnings are still overestimated.

Retail sales drop for 6th straight month

Slump is the longest in at least four decades. December decline of 2.7% is far weaker than expected.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retail sales fell for the sixth straight month in December, the longest consecutive stretch of monthly declines in the measure in at least four decades.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales tumbled 2.7% last month, compared with a revised 2.1% drop in November.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com on average had forecast a decrease of 1.2% for December.

Sales excluding autos and auto parts also fell a much worse than expected 3.1% in December compared to a revised 2.5% decline in November.

Economists had forecasted a decrease of 1.3% in the measure, according to Briefing.com
"We've never had this long stretch of declines," said Michael Niemira, chief economist with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), who has analyzed the government's monthly retail sales numbers going as far back as 1967.

"This current situation is a reflection of a tough, tough environment," he said. "Consumers are buying only essential items. Credit restraints have really impacted sales of big ticket purchases."

"Moving forward, the question is whether this is the low point and could we get some moderation in retail sales in 2009," he said. "We haven't seen a lot of convincing data to that effect."

Here's what the futures activity looks like... DOW futures on left (5 minute candles)/ S&P futures on right: