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Created: 2000-01-13
Last Modified: 20
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Year 2000 Retail Sales

J. Bradford DeLong

January 2000

  • Seasonally-adjusted retail sales peaked late in the third quarter of 2000.
  • The fourth quarter saw retail sales decline on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the values reached in September.
  • Of course, the phrase "seasonal adjustment" is very important: what it really means is that sales did not grow as fast in the fourth quarter as one would expect given the normal pre-Christmastime boom.
  • Moreover, in December of 2000 retail sales were still 3.7% higher than in December of 1999: 2000 was a very strong year for economic growth.
  • The upshot? As of mid-January, claims that the economy is sliding into recession are still very premature...

Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong, 601 Evans Hall, #3880
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax

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