Retail Spending Remains Totally Boring

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

The Wall Street Journal reports that US shoppers “splurged” in July:

American shoppers gave the U.S. economy a solid boost in July, a counter to weakness in the manufacturing sector and Wall Street jitters about faltering growth….The robust report—the strongest reading since March and a sign that American consumers remain a source of fuel for the economy—is a positive signal for the U.S. amid warning signs of a global economic slowdown. U.S. stocks stabilized after release of the sales figures.

That’s good news, I suppose, but you might want to keep your excitement under control after you see July’s increase in context:

Retail spending has been almost eerily rock steady for years. There was a brief drop in late 2018 and then a brief uptick in the spring to get back on track, and that’s about it. Retail spending in July was precisely where you would have predicted back in 2015 if you just drew a straight line. It’s good that consumer spending didn’t plunge or anything, but July’s figures were hardly a sign of a US-led splurge.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate