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Interesting Take on How to Read Retail Sales


The Washington Post does a good job taking a step back and parsing the often knee-jerk reactions to retail sales announcements.

Two days ago, stocks raced to record highs on reports of strong June retail sales. Yesterday, the news cycle did an about-face as June retail sales were described as "crashing" and "plunging" in a record drop.

So which was it? Was June a good month for retailers, or should they be reaching for the Kleenex? And, are we even talking about the same figures?

Short answer: Yes. And no.

The numbers don't lie, but sometimes the truth gets lost in translation. Each analysis of retail sales measures something slightly different, which can result in wildly varying conclusions.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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