Sunday, December 21, 2008

Retail Travails

Expect the retail sector to enter the chute.

The American consumer (remember him/her?) is tapped out. A big chunk of the decline in consumer spending can be traced to collapsing auto sales. Another big chunk can be traced to a falling consumer durables--not being purchased because people are buying appliances for the new houses they aren't buying. Throw in a shortened, weather-impaired holiday season undermined by declining consumer confidence, and there's a recipe for retail catastrophe.

This is probably a good holiday season to spend those gift cards as soon as you get them, and not save them for a big purchase down the road.

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