THE BASIS POINT

Elections Breed Uncertainty.

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (week ended 11/10/2012)

Store Sales – Week/Week +0.7%. Previous was -0.2%
Store Sales – Year/Year 1.8%. Previous was 1.4%

Redbook

Store Sales Year/Year +1.6%. Previous was +0.8%.

Consumer Metrics Institute

This near realtime measure of consumer demand started moving upward two days after the election.  This same effect – pre-election slump and then recovery – happened in 2008.

Together, all of these reports of consumer spending indicate growth but growth at too slow a rate.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (October 2012)

– Index level was 93.1 up from 92.8.  The highlight of the report is uncertainty.  A record 23% of small business owners were uncertain about whether business conditions will be better or worse in six months.  “While four of ten survey components rose, the Index still remains in solidly pessimistic—and recessionary territory,” said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg.

This relates to the Consumer Metric data and shows clearly that the period before elections breeds uncertainty.