Data for US retail sales were reported yesterday and I have produced a chart of such sales minus gasoline and food stores, i.e. the discretionary "stuff" we buy that truly drives the economy. Sales growth is dropping and if we take into account inflation of around 2.5%, such sales are essentially stalled. The shutting down of the house-as-ATM is starting to have a measurable and clearly visible effect. I think we may also see a rise in the saving rate over the next few months.