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Sluggish Sales

12:01 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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We’ve grown accustomed to waiting for news on the economy that would signal a return to movement and growth.  And, mostly, there is a forlorn quality to the waiting with most of the news indicating a continuing stalemate.  Latest reports from the retail front are not reassuring.  As Matt Townsend at Bloomberg reports:

The first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009 reinforced projections for a lackluster holiday, increasing chances retailers will extend the deep discounts already hurting their profit margins. 

The news about manufacturing is better with Reuters reporting that:

U.S. manufacturing growth rebounded from a one-year low in November, while factory output grew at its fastest pace in 20 months, an industry report showed on Monday

Later this week, we will get job numbers.  As everyone knows, an unacceptably large portion of the workforce is not merely unemployed but has surrendered and is no longer even looking for work.  And if you aren’t working and don’t much expect to be working, then you aren’t likely to be spending big and wide on Black Friday or any other day.

So, let’s talk about something else.  Immigration … war on women … the minimum wage ...

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