Retail sales post worst decline in history

The Census Bureau reported this morning that retail sales fell ~10% in real terms from one year ago. This is the worst decline in the history of this series.

Even leaving out gasoline sales (which artificially inflated sales earlier in 2008, and were down 36% on an annual basis, retail sales still fell ~6.5% YoY in real, inflation-adjusted terms.

The US consumer is stil in the full panic/retrenchment mode that began during "Black September."

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Retail sales chart

Check out this chart. This is going to have worldwide ramifications.

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