retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Retail sales last month were essentially unchanged from June after adjusting for seasonal differences, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Americans spent more at clothing and grocery stores but scaled back spending at auto dealerships and department stores.

"Consumer spending drives the U.S. economy, accounting for more than two-thirds of output. But sales growth at stores and restaurants has slowed since the spring, when retailers benefited from a burst of demand that was pent up during an unusually harsh winter across much of the country."

However, the Journal also notes that "The deceleration in spending is at odds with strong hiring by U.S. firms, which added jobs over the past six months at the fastest pace since 2006. As more Americans find work and begin collecting paychecks, consumer spending should gain traction."
KC's View:
So pretty much everybody is experiencing weak consumer spending? Hmmm…

It is worth pointing out that despite all the debate about Amazon's profit issues, its sales last quarter were up 23 percent. (I'm pretty sure the competition was intense for Amazon, too…)

So apparently consumers were willing to spend money with a retailer that they felt had a relevant offer. The problem for Amazon isn't how much money people are spending on its site, but how much money it is spending on various technologies and programs…

Think there might be a broader message in here somewhere...?