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Recession Ending Before Passage of Stimulus


Another bit of evidence contrary to the current sky-is-falling headlines:

Apparel sales picking up at some stores

Sales have likely picked up at Urban Outfitter Inc.'s Anthropologie stores, Limited Brands Inc.'s Victoria's Secret and American Apparel Stores Inc., said Todd Slater, an analyst with Lazard Capital markets.

"We heard sales were above plan in several cases," he wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "Not sure if (its) sustainable, but the sales pickup may have resulted from pent-up demand and the timing of Valentines Day/Presidents Day."

Retailers including Hot Topic Inc., American Eagle Inc., Bebe Stores Inc., Urban Outfitter's namesake stores and Tween Brand's Justice stores had strong traffic and sales, Tennant said, but those were mostly driven by steep sales.

Shoppers are still guarding their dollars and hunting for bargains. But they are spending. The economy has not “ground to a halt”.

This sort of news is often seen as a sign of reaching the bottom of an economic slowdown. The stores cited sell luxury and image goods, more “conspicuous consumption” than consumer staples. People truly in trouble do not buy lacy underpants or pre-ripped jeans.