To have strong retail sales, you have to have some improvement in consumer confidence. If you tell people everyone is more optimistic, it may create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today it was reported that the final reading for consumer sentiment increased to 71.6 in November, up from 69.3 in October. Furthermore, consumer expectations increased to 64.8 from 61.9 previously. Will this be enough to save the retail industry, which can only survive by suckering Americans into spending all of their money on useless Chinese trinkets? We shall see. The Retail Federation certainly has high expectations this year and expects holiday sales to increase 2.3% year over year. You have to wonder how on earth will sales increase with 17% real unemployment. Charles Hugh Smith over at oftwominds.com noted that the top 20% of the country controls 80% of the total wealth, so as long as they continue to spend retail sales should remain strong. The hell with the bottom 20%--they are not being good consumers; their only duty in American society.
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Black Swan Insights