Why the Phantom Recession is already over

This must read article from First Trust arrived on the front page of their newsletter.

Trouble is, someone forgot to convince consumers they had to stop spending. Despite consumer confidence readings that are downright awful, “core” retail sales are up at a 10.2% annual rate in the past three months. In other words, consumer confidence statistics may express how people feel, but not how they act. And with all the doom and gloom being reported on a daily basis, no wonder they feel so bad. But consumers have refused to capitulate to the emotional turmoil.

Of course, a strong economy is a plus for the current party in office. We’ve talked before about the Democrats need to trash American before they can win in November.


  1. I’d like to think we’re out of the woods, but one thing to note about core retail sales is that the number includes sales of gasoline and groceries. Sure, sales of both have increased, but that’s a direct product of the rising costs of both.

  2. I thought core retail sales excludes gas and autos.

  3. The articles I’ve read – and I’ve read at least three – all indicate gasoline sales are a part of the core retail sales numbers.

  4. Well that’s confusing. I read 3 that said gas, autos and building materials were not. I tried to look it up more decisively and absolutely hit a brick wall.

    Any firm definition out there? Where’s Dylan Ratigan when I need him?

  5. Kathryn says:

    There doesn’t seem to be a firm definition. One I found said this:

    “Core inflation is most often calculated by taking the Consumer Price Index and excluding certain items from the index, usually energy and food products. Other methods of calculations include the outliers method, which removes the products that have had the largest price changes.”

    Economics is about as scientific as alchemy.

  6. Yeah, I’ve tried to nail down a more accurate definition of what constitutes “core” retail sales, but I’ve had no luck.

  7. Kathryn, don’t get confused by core inflation and core retail sales. Two different animals!!

  8. this is nothing more than voodoo economics!

  9. Shawn – dare to offer some proof with that statement, hotshot?

  10. Kathryn says:

    I took it as satire.