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Last Gasp
-- November 14, 2002

Even though retail sales came out better than expected for October, this does not signal a recovery in the economy. After all, overall retail sales didn't grow one iota compared to September, and that follows a 1.3% decline in sales in that month.

Plus, the individual sectors that managed to grow sales did so at the expense of profits. Retailers have slashed prices in order to attract consumers. And when that happens, profit margins are crushed.

Much like today's stock market rise, this is just a last gasp before reality sets in. As the country moves closer to war, the economy continues to slump, and the bear market rally ends, consumers will take the necessary precautions and put a stranglehold on their wallets.

related article: Retail Sales Were Flat In October