Thoughts on Retail Sales & My Man is starting to make some noise. It’s about time!

Retail sales number was gangbusters and was not expected from my viewpoint. But when an actual good number comes out these days, it alway comes out with a fly in the ointment (why can’t we get any “clean” good news?). The fly this time is the fact that the sample from which they derive the number has completely changed! It’s one of the first things you see on the report. In other words, this is not an apples to apples comparison from the prior months. Also, the fact that shopping organizations as well as polls pointed otherwise the whole month goes against this one report.
Here, Here, Here and Here
But well everyone is joyous over the “great” news…. I’m not buying it though. Let’s see December and January to confirm this new-found growth.
To not seem just focused on the bad news, consumer confidence also showed a rise that was higher than expected. It is cause for relief but I won’t go as far as this saving the holiday season. Unfortunately, this metric is STILL stuck in recessionary territory. To put it in perspective, today’s 73.4 is still lower than the lowest reading in the last recession, and in the face of massive stimulus…. just food for though.
On another note,
Mr Volker is finally coming out to light on what is actually plaguing our economy. Instead of wasting billions of dollars trying to make an unworkable system of consumption work, we should devote more resources to fixing the structure of the economy (elimination of debt, recognizing losses in the banking system instead of “extend & pretend”, and stop penalizing hard working Americans who followed financial prudence for a long time by saving). Sadly no country can have an economy that is made up of 75% consumption. All that does is create massive debt…kinda how the US economy looks right now. It’s common sense folks that’s all it is. You don’t need graphs and genius mathematicians to figure out if something just doesn’t make common sense.

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