Retail Sales Remain Ho-Hum

The Wall Street Journal reports that retailers are heading into the holiday season with lackluster sales:

Retailers gave a mixed read on consumer spending heading into the key holiday season, with department store chain Kohl’s Corp. and Home Depot Inc. reporting weak sales, but discounter TJX Cos. continuing to log strong sales.

Advance sales were released on Friday. Here they are:

Vehicle sales have been declining on a year-over-year basis since 2011 and dropped again last month. In October they were 5.1 percent below October sales a year ago.

Retail sales are a little more encouraging. They dropped a bit in 2019, but have recovered since then. However, they dropped last month and are currently 2.9 percent above October of last year. That’s not rockin’ and rollin’, but it’s not too bad either.

As usual these days, the upshot is that the economy is doing OK, but not great. Eventually that will change, and mostly likely we’ll be unhappy about it.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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