The Main Street recession is here
Remember when people were talking about the Wall Street meltdown as if it were separate from the "real" economy. Separation no more. This AP story and last week's employment report show that the crisis is "contained" no more. No wonder Paulson wants to stimulate consumer finance by buying car loans and credit-card loans.
Retail sales plunged by the largest amount on record in October as the financial crisis and the slumping economy caused consumers to sharply cut back on their spending.
The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales fell by 2.8 percent last month, surpassing the old mark of a 2.65 percent drop in November 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks that year.
The decline in sales was led by a huge drop in auto purchases, but sales of all types of products from furniture to clothing fell as consumers retrenched.