Thursday, March 12, 2009

Retail sales down by 9.5 percent on the year

From Calculated Risk.

Excluding autos, retail sales grew by 0.7 percent on the month.

Still, the year-over-year number is remarkable. We are watching a major change. How intense will the change ultimately be? Who knows. The important thing, in fact, that we don't know. Do we consume as readily in the years to come as in the era just passed? Will we merely go back to the still very-high, pre-bubble rates of consumption? Or are we in the middle of a more historic contraction of spending? And what do we consume? These are open questions like no time I can see in the last thirty years. It will be fun to watch and document how these questions come to get answered.

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