This article originally appeared on RealMoney.com on Sept. 3, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. To read more content like this AND see inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE... Click Here NOW.
There tend to be reasons behind anything that might happen in this world. Dog eats child's homework? Should have put up the gate. A company issues an earnings warning, blowing up an investor's portfolio? That investor should have read the last earnings-call transcript a little more closely.
It's the same idea for U.S. retail sales. In my view, these numbers have been weaker than they should be this year, given the accelerating improvement in the job market. The numbers are also being bumped up slightly higher by the continued strong gains in online channels: Some months, the year-over-year increases in online revenue have been more than 7x the headline retail-sales figure.
In any case, if we dig around for reasons for the weakness, we see there is one component of retail sales that has been rocking -- and that is the auto market. The demand has been so robust, in fact, that I firmly believe it's pulling dollars from the registers of apparel retailers, grocery store retailers and restaurants. Hey, new car payments ain't cheap.
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Here is worthwhile background on the industry as we are set to receive the latest auto-sales numbers.