This may actually belong in the Cat Lounge:
I thought that was pretty funny, Laurie, but I doubt if Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke wouldn't think it was funny, because they wouldn't get it .....
Originally Posted by MarketWatch
Sales excluding gas dropped 1.5%, the biggest decline in three years. Excluding both autos and gas, sales fell 0.5%.
Sales were quite weak across a broad swath of the retail sector in October, an indication that the fourth quarter could be worse than the just-completed third quarter, when inflation-adjusted consumer spending fell at the fastest pace in 28 years.
"We estimate that consumer spending is likely to fall at about a 5% annualized pace" in the fourth quarter, wrote Peter Kretzmer, economist for Bank of America. "Large declines in household net worth point to further weakness in spending in early 2009."
Retail sales account for about half of consumer spending and about one-third of domestic demand.
Retail sales are down 4.1% in the past year. Sales fell a downwardly revised 1.3% in September. Sales in August were also revised lower to a 0.7% decline.
The dismal report confirms what the business sector has been saying: Consumer spending is falling rapidly.