The Retail Spending Drop Is Not the Biggest Ever

It might be the biggest drop in two decades, but not ever.

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The 2.8 percent fall in retail sales is the biggest single-month drop ever! Right? Not so much.

Here's the caveat most reports (but not all) aren't noting: "Ever" in this case dates back to ... 1992.

As a Commerce spokesperson told my colleague Terry Atlas, they rejiggered how they measure these things 16 years ago. So it's certainly a steep drop. CNNMoney says it could be the worst since a 6.5 percent drop in January 1987.

But "ever" is along time—certainly longer than 16 or 21 years. 

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