Do government economic numbers make sense?

This week we are told by the government that monthly retail sales were up 1.3% in April overall and .6% excluding autos, gas, and food. I have trouble making sense of this number considering that stores of all economic levels have reported decreasing sales for February through April. This includes Kohls, Macy’s, the Gap, Nordstroms, and Penneys. Sports Authority and American Apparel sales were so weak they are liquidating. Sears and K Mart are excep[tionally weak and Walmart is flat at best. We have to remember that although Amazon’s sales and total online sales are going up they are still a very small percentage of the overall economy.  The government said that part of the reason first quarter growth was so slow -- ½% -- was because the American people were saving more. Yet we are told in other reports that 63% of people live paycheck to paycheck and don’t even have $1,000 saved. Where are all these savings going? With  the...(Read Full Post)