Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Remember that booming economy we were promised?

Thanks to Bush administration cheerleading (or was it arm-twisting?), the SCLM did try to convince us that the economy was on a huge upswing, but the numbers are bringing all but the most loyal acolytes back down to earth.

(via WaPo)
America's shoppers had a tight grip on their pocketbooks and wallets in June, dropping sales at the nation's retailers by 1.1 percent. It was the largest decline in 16 months.

The buying retreat, reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department, came after shoppers had splurged in May. In that month, they pushed merchants' sales up by a strong 1.4 percent, a showing that was even better than first estimated a month ago.

Bad weather and the lingering effects of high energy prices were blamed for the pullback, economists said. Another possible factor: a slowdown in the growth of the nation's payrolls in June. The economy added a net 112,000 jobs last month, less than half of the amount that economists had forecast.

The 1.1 percent drop in retail sales was the largest since February 2003, when sales fell by the same amount. June's decline was shaper than the 0.7 percent drop that some economists were predicting.

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