Retail Sales Plummet “Unexpectedly”

It’s awesome, like when Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown, because no matter how many times it happens, we never, ever see it coming.

Today, the thing we never saw coming was a plunge in retail sales.  They “unexpectedly” fell from May to June.  This measure of economy activity also fell from April to May (which they didn’t expect) and from March to April (which they also didn’t expect).

It was the first time sales had dropped in three consecutive months since late 2008, when the economy was still mired in a deep recession. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to rise 0.2 percent.

“Evidence is increasingly clear that the U.S. economy is slowing,” said Jim Baird, an investment strategist at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The report adds to a spate of weak economic data that is raising pressure on President Barack Obama ahead of his November reelection bid. Republican challenger Mitt Romney is focusing his campaign on the weak economy that has plagued Obama’s presidency.

Really? The weak economy has “plagued Obama’s presidency?”  Because, out here, it kind of feels like it’s plaguing us, and looks like Obama’s extravagant presidency is doing just fine on our dime.