This is the real reason the “stimulus” bill had to be passed in such a rush — it had to be done before the economy had a chance to rebound on its own. My theory, which comes from personal experience and observation, is that when gas prices dropped so significantly over the past few months it put extra cash in peoples’ pockets. I estimate my family has an extra hundred bucks or so a month as a result of less than $2/gallon gas. I don’t know if that contributed to the increased retail sales, but it has made a difference in my house. Via the AP/Reuters:
Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly rebounded in January, new government data showed Thursday, likely boosted by post-holiday discounts and providing a glimmer of hope for the recession-hit U.S. economy.
The Commerce Department said total retail sales rose 1 percent, advancing for the first time in seven months, after slumping by a revised 3 percent in December, previously reported as a 2.7 percent decline.
The January report shows strong increases in sales of automobiles and in general merchandise stores — the “big box” outlets — though sales by department stores, carrying fewer varieties of items, posted a decline.And this happened without a trillion dollar spending bill. This is just one number of one economic indicator from one month, but it sure doesn’t jibe with the worst recession since the Great Depression doom and gloom catastrophe “if we don’t pass spendulus now we will NEVER recover” talk Obama and the Democrats used to get their trillion dollar wish list passed.
UPDATE: I like Jim Hoft’s spendulus name better than mine — from his post explaining why Republicans are so upset with Specter, Snowe and Collins:
How anyone can vote for the Trillion-Dollar-We’re-All-Going-To-Die-Unless-The-Government-Pays-Off-Liberal-Interest-Groups Bill and still insist they are a Republican or conservative is beyond belief. After all, there’s not too many socialists in the party. Dick Morris nailed it last night on The O’Reilly Factor. He said if the three traitors would have voted “no” democrats would have been forced to come up with a better bill. They didn’t. Now we have this liberal pork-laden trillion dollar crap sandwich to chomp down.