BBRG: Worthless Holiday Retail Sales Hype Never Dies

Worthless Holiday Shopping Hype Never Dies
The National Retail Federation presents as fact information that’s nothing more than guesswork.
Bloomberg, December 4, 2019




It is that time of year when the National Retail Federation gaslights the nation, filling the airwaves with bad dope.

Retail sales were not up 16% during the holiday weekend. Black Friday (Nov. 29) sales were not up 14%.

That we even have to state this tells us a lot about how easy it is to fool people into believing things that are not true. It is also revealing about the state of economics reporting, the effectiveness of fake news and the sheer gullibility of too many journalists. Investors who buy into this nonsense should expect to suffer the financial consequences of their folly.

Lots of media outlets got it wrong, perhaps most surprisingly was the usually outstanding Wall Street Journal. It incorrectly declared “Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers Boosted Spending by 16%.”


A quick review: For at least the past 15 years, the National Retail Federation has been misleading America with a series of reports on holiday shopping. Your humble Grinch takes it upon himself to point out this annual exercise in erroneous claims. These include the group’s forecasts for holiday sales, as well as several updates between Halloween and year-end. The various surveys are presented as factual sales data when they are anything but…



I originally published this at Bloomberg, December 4, 2019. All of my Bloomberg columns can be found here and here

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