Since November, retail sales have now declined for the third month in a row through February 2018. Estimates for December have been reduced at each update since their initial release in January. The following first two months of 2018 have only elongated the giveback aftermath of the hurricanes’ aftermath….
Not only was the hurricane distortion temporary, we are also likely seeing the emerging second part of Frederic Bastiat’s broken windows fallacy. While there was clearly a substantial gain in economic activity following the twin landfalls of Harvey and Irma, the bill for all that destruction is now coming due and is surely falling upon a wider segment than just those who fell within the hurricanes’ tracks.