Thursday, January 7, 2010

Same Store Sales "Surge"

The Washington Post called this a "surge":

Retailers pulled off a better-than-expected holiday season as rising consumer confidence -- and a last-minute shopping spree -- pushed sales higher in December, according to results released Thursday.

For about three dozen of the country's biggest chains, sales at established stores increased an average of 2.8 percent in December from a year ago, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), a trade group. Sales for the last two months of the year jumped 1.8 percent, compared with a record 5.6 percent drop in 2008 -- marking the strongest holiday performance in three years. The ICSC had forecast a 1 percent increase.
And the resultant two year change (two years takes in account the massive drop from last year) shows the strength remains in a tween retailer and discount stores.

An improvement? Yes, but a 1.8% rise after a 5.6% drop doesn't qualify as a surge in my book.

Source: Retail Sails


  1. Could this be the underground economy spending unrecorded income.
    My guess would be cash based earners have a pile of money that they will spend now when many are in hard times. This could be a source of AD for a while.
    It could explain why savings is only up to 6% and consumption has not dropped that much given unemployment and asset loses over what is almost two years.

  2. antonw- i wonder how you can account for the underground economy? it would be interesting to see.

    i will note that a lot of the income that has been lost, has been replaced by the government through transfer payments (i.e. unemployment benefits), thus overall personal income available to spend hasn't been crushed by the level someone (at least I) would have expected.