THE HOLIDAY BUYING SEASON DATA

How strong is our economy?

Well, if you judged it exclusively by the stock market results (other than yesterday, of course), the answer is that we are in a major tailspin.  Heading straight downward.  Great depression, look out:  here we come.

On the other hand, if you judge it by holiday sales data, you just might find a different story.

From Sarah Nassauer’s article for the Wall Street Journal:

Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year earlier, according to MastercardSpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment. Overall, U.S. consumers spent over $850 billion this holiday season, according to Mastercard.

Sales have been generally strong throughout the holiday season, led by increases in online shopping. Retailers entered the holidays with momentum as online sales jumped 26.4% from a year earlier between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Black Friday, one sign of an early buying surge, according to Adobe Analytics.

Those retail data are nothing short of excellent.

And, though no one can tell the future, they certainly seem to belie the premise that we are on the cusp of a recession/depression/economic catastrophe – which so many Trump haters in media and among Democrats (with a couple of Republicans tossed in) have, with varying degrees of glee, suggested is going to happen.

I suggest you join me in understanding that they are blowing a lot of hot air and, therefore, largely ignoring them.  You’ll feel better, I promise.

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