Let’s Blame Sandy! (Grinchmas)

Merry Grinchmas

Naw, really?

U.S. holiday sales growth slowed by more than half this year after gridlock in Washington soured consumers’ moods and Hurricane Sandy disrupted shopping, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse said.

Retail sales grew by 0.7 percent from Oct. 28 through Dec. 24, the Purchase, New York, research firm said today, without providing a dollar figure in the billions. Sales grew at a 2 percent pace in the same period a year ago. SpendingPulse tracks total U.S. sales at stores and online via all payment forms.

Sandy?  Really?

Give me a break.  I’ve been watching the data all season and saying that I didn’t buy the “strong” or even “reasonably strong” predictions.  This is actually a net-negative report when you include price changes; the data reported is not inflation-adjusted.

One of the amusing parts of this report is that it’s real-time data from retailer card-processing terminals.  This contrasts with the government “personal income and spending” numbers, along with the retail sales “reports” from various self-interested groups like the National Retail Federation, which are estimates.

Those numbers showed material growth.

The real world says they lied.

Don’t believe the folks like the NRF and other folks who refuse to cite their sources and claim to run “surveys.”  This is the real deal as it’s off real data coming from real check stands.

It was Grinchmas.

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