Supposedly sales were up 3.4 percent over last year, but we had one extra day in this period than last year when sales fell 4 to 7 percent (depending upon what survey you look at.) If you take the one extra day out, sales were up a little over one percent this year over last. The rate of inflation was three percent, so sales were actually down two percent. Not good, but the people who eat those misleading headlines up were probably putting more of their money at risk in the stock market. After all, "Sales are skyrocketing and the recession is over" Unless, of course, it ain't.