Retail Sales Data Shows Consumers Cutting Back on Necessities of Life

Actions speak louder than words. What's the point of asking consumers their opinion of the economy when we can judge by their actions, their actual monthly purchases of retail goods. The Census Bureau samples that behavior each month. The retail sales figures are the best barometer of consumer attitudes about the economy. Moreover, they are the best measure not only of attitudes, but also consumer wherewithal. If consumers have the means, they'll spend. If they don't, they won't. And if they don't, they'll probably feel lousy about the economy. It all shows up in the retail sales numbers.

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