Wednesday, January 16, 2019

After a Strong 2018 for Retail Sales, Caution Flags Pop Up

The Wall Street Journal
The Commerce Department, normally scheduled to publish retail-sales data Wednesday morning, won’t release the figures due to the government shutdown. Still, some private-sector analysts who track the retail sector estimate that Americans stepped up their spending in November and December, crucial months that include Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Christmas, but voice caution about 2019.

Some retailers are preparing for consumer spending to weaken, even if there is no sign it will happen soon, said Rod Sides, vice chairman of retail at Deloitte. The firm’s clients are looking to cut costs, he said. “Retailers are going to have to spend 2019 figuring out what they do when the tide goes out.” . . . more