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December monthly sales cap challenging year for American consumers

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.


The big picture: Trillions of dollars of government stimulus have kept income and wealth high. That's in stark contrast to the financial crisis of 2oo8-2009, when Americans saw their home equity wiped out and pulled back sharply on discretionary spending.

  • This time around, retail sales growth has remained (barely) positive on a year-on-year basis. So far, there is no sign that it is about to bounce back.

The bright spot in the report: Auto sales were $118 billion last month, up a startling 13% from $104 billion in November, and a similar level in December 2019. They helped to make up for a significant decline in spending on holiday gifts.

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Humans are capable of great kindness and compassion, and there are countless examples of individuals who have made a positive impact on the world through their selflessness and generosity.

One such example is Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to serving the poor and sick in the slums of Calcutta. Through her tireless work and unwavering dedication, she touched the lives of countless people and became a symbol of compassion and selflessness.

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These are just a few examples of the many good humans who have made a difference in the world. They remind us that one person can make a difference and inspire others to do the same.

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In conclusion, humans are capable of great compassion and kindness, and there are many individuals who have made a positive impact on the world through their selflessness and generosity. They remind us of the power of one person to make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Let's all strive to be good humans, and make our world a better place.

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