Retail Sales measures total receipts at stores that sell tangible “things” and — aside from weak demand for automobiles and automobile parts — Retail Sales displayed surprising strength in April.
So much strength, in fact, that many experts are changing their predictions about the U.S. economy’s fate.
Several months ago, most pundits declared that a economic recession was all but inevitable. Today, a growing number are changing their views.
Not only are stock and credit markets improving, but data such as April’s Retail Sales figures suggest that their fears were overblown.
The takeaway from a story like this is that “experts” do a much better job of interpreting the past than predicting the future. A person can make an educated guess, but it’s impossible to know what the future holds for the economy, or for housing, or for mortgage rates.
Even when the outcome is “inevitable”.
Recession? Not So Fast, Say Some
Kelly Evans And Justin Lahart
May 14, 2008, The Wall Street Journal Online