Retail Sales And millinery? Nobody said anything about millinery.
Retail sales, you will be pleased to know, were up 7.9% YOY in quarter four of 2011, up more vertiginously by 8.7% for the month of December and up more horizontally by 1.3% from November. After a less than inspiring year, this is being hailed in some quarters as if it were the second coming of the consumer boom of the early noughts, rather than the result of a fairly OK Christmas, with some commentators breathlessly, and rather tautologically suggesting that it might have a good effect on GDP growth. In some areas, though, it is pretty good news – for example wholesale, which lifted sales 6.1% in December after slowing to 5.7% in November. Those quaintly-named “retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods” (John Orr’s? Greenacres?) were the star performers at somewhere north of 11%, well done, gentlemen. Have yourselves a cream bun in the tea-room upstairs.
Comment: Good news, one supposes, although breathless excitement at a marginal increase in consumer spending when we are sitting on monstrous deposits of uranium and platinum to name but two of the strategic minerals in which we are so richly blessed does make one wonder a bit who is running things.