This morning, the Commerce Department released its retail sales report for December, and the news was not good. The decline of 1.2% was the largest drop in more than 9 years – since September 2008. Most observers expected a flat to modest uptick in sales when the report was released this morning, a release that was delayed for more than a month due to the government shutdown.

Chain Store Guide monthly consumer polling data, as seen below, was shown to be accurate and ahead of the curve with this morning’s announcement by the Commerce Department. From October to January, throughout the holiday season, the US Retail Index and Consumer Spending Monitor dropped considerably, reflecting the data we gather each month when polling consumers about their spending intentions for the month ahead.

This data is available to subscribers and delivered at the beginning of each month within CSG’s Consumer Spending Report. Sign up today.