The US retail sales figures for December will be out later on Tuesday and we’ll use the occasion as an excuse to take a look at the wider picture for the American consumer this year.
The image is fuzzy. We already know that the expiration of the payroll tax cuts was an especially damaging outcome of the fiscal cliff negotiations. It will total approximately $125bn less in wage-earners’ pockets, and is showing up immediately in reduced paychecks. As Credit Suisse economists noted: Read more