– by a New Deal Democrat
This morning nominal retail sales for November were reported down -0.6%, only about 1/2 of October’s strong gain of +1.3%. As consumer inflation rose +0.1% for the month, real retail sales fell -0.5%. Here are the absolute figures for real retail sales from early 2021:
As I have noted many times, annualized real retail sales turning negative annually for 75 years is an excellent harbinger of a recession. With this morning’s data, they are negative again. Below is the data for the last 25 years:
As I’ve also noted many times, real retail sales /2 is a good, if noisy, leading indicator for jobs reports 3-6 months into the future. Here’s the historical record from the start of the modern retail sales streak to just before the pandemic:
And this is how they look as of June 2021:
That they have remained close to zero or even negative on an annualized basis for many months strongly suggests a continued slowdown in monthly job numbers over the next few months.