Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Retail Sales Plummet... What Stimulus Checks?

As previously detailed, stimulus checks continue to disappoint:

U.S. retail sales dropped 0.1% in July, as falling auto sales offset an increase in gasoline sales sparked by higher prices, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.

Excluding the 2.4% decline in vehicle sales, seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 0.4% in July, the smallest gain since February. Excluding the 0.8% rise in gasoline sales, retail sales fell 0.2%. "The consumer is running out of steam," wrote Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for Global Insight.