Retail sales fell -1.2% last month, the worst December of the economic expansion, online sales declined by -3.9%. CNBC, MarketWatch, Reuters, WSJ, NYT, and forecasters inferred and inked grim warnings about the contraction in consumer spending. I decided to take a closer look. Historically, when there’s palpable fear in the air, consumers tighten their belts.read more Retail sales declined significantly in December. Is recession looming?