Retail Accountability?

by: Barry Ritholtz

Forget New Hampshire Pollsters -- if you want to see some poor professional work, have a look at those who cover retail sales for a living.

I'm not naming names, but Cheese N Crackers! how many analysts, pundits and others totally soiled the bed when it came to this year's holiday sales?

Forget forecasting next month -- how about understanding what is going on RIGHT NOW? Or if that's too complex, how about what happened last month?

Credit card debt turned up, the home ATM turned down, inflation was rampant, real income gains non-existent, the job market mediocre. On top of that, we had much higher prices for daily requirements like Food and Energy -- and still, there was total denial about how healthy retail is.

Now, the MSM tells us Americans Cut Back Sharply on Spending. Really? You don't say!

Those of us who are reality-based and paid even the slightest attention saw this coming a long time ago.


With December Retail Sales a minute from release, let's ask this question: Who really blew it this year on Retail? What commentary was off base, ugly or just plain wrong?


Americans Cut Back Sharply on Spending