The facts, as you state them (and I think you’re probably right) belie the alarmist, misleading headline (what “disaster”?). Also, the article uses sales figures for a single department store, and attempts to extrapolate from there to the whole economy. Clearly, the author had a point to make, and pummeled the “facts” into submission, until they “supported” his point. This is the sort of propaganda-posing-as-reporting that we’ve come to expect from the leftist media. There’s no excuse for it.
I agree. I suspect the result was a good year, followed by the current bad year, followed by average years there out.
Headlines are used to sell ads, not provide news.