There is a lot about this “cycle” which is totally upside down, but retail sales in May just might represent the apex of the Orwellian transformation; all on the say so of seasonal adjustments. The worst data in years, comparable only to the worst economic experiences in recent history, are now counted as a “surge” in spending and cause for both optimism and doom.
by Jeffrey P. Snider • July 14, 2015
Last month’s retail sales report for May was taken as the definitive sign that the slump had passed and that the conventional view of the jobs market was finally, if surprisingly belatedly, taking shape. It did not matter to economists that the only basis for that interpretation was seasonal adjustments, which had produced a huge disparity with the unadjusted set. I wrote then: