No Signs of Economic Recovery Yet in the U.S.

There are no signs of economic recovery in-spite of some folks talking about green shoots for the past few weeks. The following chart about retail sales reinforces this point.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Last month there was a minor upturn in auto sales after many months of drastic declines. And gas prices  rose last month as the price of crude went up. Hence the Journal says “U.S. retail sales rose in June, but mostly because of higher gasoline prices and volatile auto sales, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, businesses continued to slash inventories.Retail sales climbed 0.6% in June from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis to $342.1 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Excluding gas and autos, retail sales actually declined for the fourth consecutive month.”

The left part of the above chart clearly shows that sometimes charts can be misleading at face value.A few months of consistent upturn in retail sales and other variables are needed before we can come to a conclusion on the direction of the economy.

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