Maybe because, gasp, it wasn’t the weather?
From BofA’s Hans Mikkelsen, most humorously known for his insightful missive from December 26, 2013 titled, “Hello economy, goodbye QE.” We for one, can’t wait for the title of his December 26, 2014 thesis.
Our internal BAC card (debit+credit) retail ex. gas spend data for the third week of February showed a very modest 1.1% increase over the same week last year, in line with the 1.2% increase from the prior week. Thus we see no evidence of a strong rebound in spending as the weather improved significantly during the third week of February – post Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th). This contrasts with comments made by Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet during yesterday’s earnings conference call, where she noted improving sales across the board starting on Valentine’s Day (Situation Room: Valentine’s Day brings warmth 25 February 2014). Obviously company specific observations are very imprecise predictors for aggregate activity.