This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Dec. 14 at 7:20 a.m. EST.
Similar to many, I was surprised in the strong retail sales release on Friday.
Perhaps this "new sampling" methodology (and wide sampling error) and message by the
helps to explain the difference between the strength reported late last week and the weakness in private and state tax data. (Hat tip to Bill King.)
The strength of retail sales (issued in the government release) was in marked contrast to negative November comparisons issued by the
, poor results in
, year-over-year weakness in some of the
and even the releases from trade associations (e.g.,
, which reported a national retail sales decline of 0.1% in November).
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