Retail forecast to decline in 2009

American Express reported its cardholders spent 10% less in the last quarter — that’s my card, I despise credit card balances, I’m a total Membership Rewards miles whore — ten percent less than the previous year’s holiday quarter. That says a lot. Ten percent.

Now retail sales are forecast to also decline this calendar year. The news was delivered on NPR this morning like it was the end of the world, but it begs the question: why do we need to buy more crap each year than the year before? Sure, growth is good, but at some point the world needs to leave the SkyMall catalogue in the seat pocket and not commit credit card seppuku for that solar powered garden gnome or waterproof iPod dock.