December Retail Sales Disappoint

The Census Bureau's Retail Sales report was a bummer. Consensus estimates were forecasting a 0.5% increase in December, but in fact sales dropped 0.3% from the previous month. I guess there's a bit of comfort in that sales were up 5.4% from a year ago, but hard to feel good comparing current circumstances to when we were in the teeth of the crisis.

Here's a quick primer on retail sales:


Investors didn't seem to pay much attention to the report. They seem to be counting on the fact that weak economic data will allow the Fed to keep rates at rock bottom levels.