Retail inflation portends burgeoning consumer credit

April retail sales rise:

Soaring fuel bills and a deteriorating job market haven’t stopped consumers from spending. Retail sales excluding cars rose 0.5 percent in April, more than twice what economists had forecast, a Commerce Department report showed in Washington today.

Retail sales weren’t too shabby in March either. Nor was the expansion of consumer credit that month – more than double expectation. Meanwhile, in inflation adjusted terms sales are sucking wind.

Has plastic use doubled down again?

UPDATE: Take out non-discretionaries and it’s really quite ugly.

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