So much for that expected strong Christmas. Economists were giddy across the board, but other than autos and gas, retail sales were flat in December. Christmas hype did not live up to its billing.

Check out reality vs. Econoday Expectations.


  • Retail sales minus autos were 0.2 percentage points below the lowest economist’s estimate.
  • Retail sales minus autos and gas were flat and 0.3 percentage points below the lowest economist’s estimate.

Disastrous Christmas for Dept Stores, Sporting Goods, Electronics, Appliances


The above table from the Census Department Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services report.

L.D. stands for leased departments (floor space leased out to others).

Amazon had a great Christmas Season. So did autos dealers, assuming those were real consumer sales and not channel stuffing. The box retailers got clobbered.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mike “Mish” Shedlock