Fed beige book

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A tad more evidence consumption started moving sideways after year end?

Given the savings rate/budget deficit got through 5% this is not impossible.

(0% GDP growth still means rising unemployment as productivity continues to increase)

Consumer Spending and Tourism

Consumer spending remained very weak on balance, albeit with slight firming noted by many Districts, particularly compared with holiday-season sales that were very disappointing. About half of the Districts reported that consumer demand was softer than during recent reporting periods or fell significantly below levels twelve months earlier. However, compared with the preceding reporting period that included the holiday season, retail spending was described as “mixed” in the Boston and Richmond Districts, “nearly steady” in Philadelphia, and slightly improved in Cleveland and Dallas, while New York reported a reduced rate of decline compared with the “steep” pace in December. But San Francisco characterized retail sales as “anemic” and pointed to double-digit sales declines relative to twelve months earlier for many retail outlets. As reported by Richmond, Chicago, and San Francisco, discount chains fared much better than traditional department stores and specialized retailers, recording sales gains in many cases as consumers continued to switch away from discretionary spending and luxury items and toward basic necessities.