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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Retail Sales Fall and There is Another Outbreak of Surprised Economists

Retail Sales Fall and There is Another Outbreak of Surprised Economists

Friday, 12 April 2013 18:56

Retail sales fell in March and economists were surprised.

Comments (6)Add Comment
written by David, April 12, 2013 9:35
Why am I not surprised?
I noticed...
written by Richard, April 13, 2013 8:19
the "surprised economists" effect nearly 2 1/2 years ago.

Economists surprised, not surprised, they saw it coming, they didn't
written by Hugh Sansom, April 13, 2013 8:38
When NPR reported this yesterday, they had on at least one economist to explain how this is not surprising. So they were surprised but it was not surprising, because they didn't see it coming but it was foreseeable, except that they didn't foresee it.... The Glenn Hubbard School or Economics at work... Oh, wait, that's Columbia Business School. I meant HBS -- the masters of the universe.
written by Ellis, April 13, 2013 11:36
Corporations are transforming their workforces into part-time and temp demi-slaves, thus feeding the crisis in their drive for greater profits. Most economists ignore this completely, a conspiracy of silence.
Troubling Fact about labor income
written by Edward Lambert, April 13, 2013 11:10
Effective capital income now sits $500 billion over its all-time high before the crisis.
Effective labor income now sits $400 billion under its all-time high before the crisis.

Here is the math on the numbers…
written by kharris, April 15, 2013 8:12
So us huckleberries were sitting around the office cracker barrel, talking 'bout retail sales before the release, and I says to my buddy, I says "the problem with retail sales is that recent estimates have been pretty close." That's 'cause retail sales are notoriously poorly forecast, but recently the median forecast has been pretty near the mark. I says to my buddy, I says, "One of these days, estimates are gonna go back to being more wrong than right, and then we'll see some real fun."

It ain't surprisin' that economists were surprised. The weren't expectin' to be surprised, but folks never do expect to be surprised. What's surprisin' is all those months they weren't surprised.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.