Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Small voices.

It makes me happy to see I'm not the only one talking about the malls being packed. My posts about it here and here. In some of the areas hardest hit by the mortgage declines - people are still spending money. Not the great depression. NOT.

From The Boston Herald.

"Like the lush who kicked the booze for a few weeks, people who avoided the malls in September are rewarding themselves with a buying bender - on bargains, yes, but a good deal is just a gateway drug.

It’s hard to believe - especially when you’re 10 deep in line to buy a kid’s coat at Gymboree and listening to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” for the zillionth time - that retail sales plunged by a record amount last month, down 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted $363.7 billion, the largest decline since such studies began in 1992, the Commerce Department said.

Yet consumer confidence rose unexpectedly, according to a survey released last Friday. Give credit to tumbling gasoline prices. Or maybe folks were buoyed by the fact that the Coach bag they coveted was sold out."


  1. Seeing people in an Apple store is one thing, and a sales drop of 2.8% is quite another.

    And from a macroeconomic perspective, even a few months don't make much difference. Back then, things didn't really begin to tank until the spring of 1930, and continued on a downward spiral until 1933.

    It may well be that the situation today is not comparable to the early '30s, but there's a long way to go before we're in the clear. You can't burn through literally hundreds of billions of dollars and have no serious deleterious affects.

  2. Up here in Vancouver (Canada), it's quite different. This past weekend we took a trip to The Bay, which is our biggest chain department store. You could have fired cannons down the aisles without fear of striking anyone - and this on a Saturday afternoon! The place was deserted. I've never seen it so empty. We asked around while running our errands and every store we went to had the same thing to report: it's slow, very slow, very unusually slow.

    It's just anecdotal but for now, it seems that the western Canadians at least are staying home and holding on to their dollars. It will be interesting to see what develops in the coming year.

  3. You probably won't like this piece on "Twenty Reasons Why We're Not Consuming."