Weak US employment data, now weak retail data. What next?

More evidence today that the US consumer is curbing spending. Poor retail data out last night caused a sharp fall in the Dow Jones :

The International Council of Shopping Centers weighs its results differently and tallied an overall same-store sales drop of 2.3% to set the largest decline on record, which dates back to November 1970. “It’s an ugly picture,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist. “The 2.3% decline is a wake-up call that something fundamental is going on.”

umm, something fundamental. I wonder what that could be? Any guesses?

US economy off a cliff?

And we are back to the debate, hard landing, or soft landing?

But a weak April jobs report — and now weak retail sales — if sustained in coming months, risks leading the U.S. economy to a hard landing.

Only time will tell.

» April sales weak; most retailers miss – Market Watch, May 10th, 2007
» U.S. stocks fall sharply on bleak retail sales, deficit – Market Watch, May 10th, 2007
» Consumer worries arise as U.S. retail sales drop 0.2% in April – Market Watch, May 11th, 2007