(Image: EPA/Justin Lane)

Tear yourselves away from the boasting and gloating over the Morrison government’s mid-year economic update and focus on the latest retail sales data for the US and the final statement for the year from the US Federal Reserve -- and start worrying about 2021.

Yes COVID-19 vaccinations campaigns in the United States have started, but there won’t be any impact for months. And yes, the US Congress is finally getting closer to a new, smaller stimulus package of about US$700 billion, instead of the US$904 billion of a week or so ago. They'll all help.

But a 1.1% slide in November’s retail sales -- the second most important month because of the start of post-Thanksgiving sales up to Christmas with "Black Friday” sales -- came after a shock revision in October’s 0.3% rise in sales, to a fall of 0.1%.