THE BASIS POINT

Holiday Shopping Looking Bleak, Official Numbers January 8

Holiday shopping is looking bleak year-over-year. Deep discounts help but people are sticking to items they need and most sectors in retail are suffering. The three graphs below tell the story. The official numbers for retailers will come out on January 8. This will follow the December jobs report on January 2, which is likely to confirm that the economy lost jobs every month of 2008. Then the first Friday of February, we will see the January jobs report when the additional post-holiday layoffs from retail are accrued.

holidaysalesbysector

wsjgoldmanholidaysales

wsjshoppertrakholidaysales