retail sales

Americans Stop Shoppin' - Retail Sales Slide

Now who thinks America is backwards and stuck on stupid? The focus is always on Americans shopping instead of Americans producing. Why doesn't our trade deficit or the shrinking middle class cause such an uproar?

The focus on Americans as simply consumers is part of the problem.

Bloomberg on Retail Sales:

Consumer purchases fell 1.2 percent in September, extending the decline to three straight months, the first time that's happened since comparable records began in 1992, Commerce Department figures showed today. In another sign of weakening demand, prices paid to U.S. producers fell last month on lower fuel costs

Here's a disconnect:

Retail shopper traffic down more than 10% in last month

Shoppertrak, a private retail tracking service, has reported that

the recent financial meltdown seen over the last few weeks is also dramatically impacting consumer traffic patterns. Highlights include:

In the month (August 3 – 30) containing the back-to-school shopping season, ShopperTrak’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) reported total U.S. shopper traffic to retail stores and malls fell 5.3 percent, the slowest since 2002.
Once the financial crisis emerged at the beginning of September, retail traffic declined even further. Between August 31 and September 20, SRTI total U.S. traffic fell an estimated 9.2 percent per day. (see charts below)
After the failure of Washington Mutual, President Bush’s address to the nation, the presidential debate and the initial rejection of the TARP bailout, traffic fell by an average of 10.5 percent (September 21 – 29).