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Retail Sales dropped 0.9% in December, or down -1.0% if you strip out automobiles. The consensus among brainiacs who forecast this sort of thing was that the numbers would remain unchanged.

Import Prices also fell -2.5% and Export Prices were down -1.2%, but these were roughly inline with the forecasts given the recent reduction in fuel costs.  If tomorrow’s wires broadcast that the Consumer Price Index has also declined, we may start hearing talk of “that-which-must-not-be-named”: deflation.  Then you’ll really hear the angry economist mob cry for the Fed to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

For now,  rates are battling multi-year lows