Retail Sales were rather unimpressive: Gasoline, Groceries, Food & Beverage were up, while pretty much everything else was flat to down.
If you want to get rid of the Easter factor, compare March/April 2007 with March/April 2008.
Perhaps some chart porn might be instructive:
click for larger charts
Retail Sales vs. March CPI
(sales versus inflation)
courtesy of Jake
courtesy of Bespoke Group
Retail Sales Versus Past Recessions
courtesy of CEO Economic Update
I tried embedding a Windows Media version of several recent Bloomberg Videos yesterday, but somehow, we ended up with the autorun feature on, regardless of the setting.
This morning, I will embed it into a page after the jump to prevent that from autorun reoccurring:
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit faces an "impossible feat” in turning around the biggest U.S. bank as it faces “seismic” costs to restructure, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney said.
Citigroup will be forced to announce the sale of major businesses toward the end of this year or in early 2009, Whitney, who recommends investors sell the shares, said in a Bloomberg TV interview today. One of the units could be Banamex, the company’s Mexican branch, she said.
Whitney, 38, correctly predicted on Oct. 31 that New York- based Citigroup would cut its dividend to shore up capital after mortgage-related writedowns. Pandit on May 9 outlined plans to sell $400 billion in assets at the bank, which has booked more than $40 billion of credit losses and writedowns since the subprime mortgage market collapsed last year.
Citi’s Pandit Faces `Impossible Feat,’ Whitney Says
Margaret Popper and Josh Fineman
Bloomberg, May 12 2008
Boone Pickens Says He Is Ready to Bet on Wind Power
Bloomberg, April 29 2008