More Expert Economic Backpeddlers Whistling in the Dark | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

More Expert Economic Backpeddlers Whistling in the Dark

U.S. Retail Sales Decline for a Record Sixth Month

Bob Willis | Bloomberg | Jan 14, 2008

Sales at U.S. retailers fell more than twice as much as forecast in December as job losses and the choking-off of credit led Americans to cut back on everything from eating out to car purchases.

“Consumers are pulling back,” Michael Gregory, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “The first half is going to be bleak in terms of consumer spending and economic activity.”

The loss of 2.6 million jobs and declining home and stock values are squeezing all American households, hurting retailers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Macy’s Inc. The figures will serve as a reminder to lawmakers of the urgency to enact President- elect Barack Obama’s stimulus proposals to combat the recession.