Yes, Retail Sales Matter and we have a fresh one just off the press over at Census. Here’s how it looks:
Advance Estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2016, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $469.1 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.1 percent (±0.9 percent) above December 2015. Total sales for the 12 months of 2016 were up 3.3 percent (±0.6 percent) from 2015. Total sales for the October 2016 through December 2016 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago. The October 2016 to November 2016 percent change was revised from up 0.1 percent (±0.5 percent)* to up 0.2 percent (±0.2 percent)*. Retail trade sales were up 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) from November 2016, and up 4.3 percent (±0.7 percent) from last year. Nonstore retailers were up 13.2 percent (±1.8 percent) from December 2015, while Miscellaneous stores were up 7.1 percent (±4.6 percent) from last year.
Think I was kidding about Car Sales Save America? Lookie here, bucko…
The main thing about retail sales is that it gives us an indication of how consumers are either sitting on their wallets or “going spendthrift.” Year end auto closeouts rolled…
In a very specific consumer sector, we can already see how the current five waves up in the market will end this year (although early 2018 is possible, too).
Let me show you the Federal Reserve’s Economic Data dispenser’s view of consumer gasoline prices and two possible outcomes:
Remember, from the branching point is November Data and this chart (less my scrawls) will be updated next week when the new Consumer Price data (the gasoline data) comes out.
My personal expectation is for the red line’s track because that would make the most logical sense. In which case, overall consumer prices will begin rising (more, faster) and then along will come inflation at the retail level and then the Fed will have its rate-hike justifications and then we would end with a “normal” recession during the first year of a Presidency.
It may not be meaningful – just interesting – that Google’s news search returns 7.49-million hits on the word “inflation” yet only 232-thousand on the word Deflation. The reason it’s not necessarily meaningful is the government response to all crises is to simply print money and people have come to expect inflation, not deflation.
In my curmudgeonly view, there’s a hell of a lot of pent-up inflation out there and it’s one of the things that should send the stock market to the moon – just before collapse.
To show you what I mean, in January 2015 the Federal Reserve H.6 Money Stocks report showed unadjusted M2 was running $11.727 trillion. Fast forward to the latest data and M2 unadjusted was $13.341 trillion. That’s a 13.76 percent increase in money in the system in a month less than 2-years.
You might generalize this into 6.8% per year inflation to make life easy. And then look at yesterday’s Money Stocks update where the Fed says, in effect, “Oh yeah – in the past year we jacked up money supplies at M2 by 7.6 percent…
The Fed apparently doesn’t like Donald Trump, much, either: Notice the M1 (cash and short term money) has all but gone flat line now. And since we can look at monthly data, we see M1 was reduced from $3.354 trillion in ELECTION MONTH down to $3.3207 after Trump won.
This is not to accuse the central banksters of playing politics with the economy, but clearly they have not only slammed on the brakes, but they have the ABS buzzing on M1 right now.
Are the Bankers Planning to Sack Trump?
That becomes an interesting question.
Notice that days before the election, the 10-year Note was running around 1.78%. However, after peaking in the vicinity of 2.58% in December, the reality of “oh-oh, we may really slide into Depression” crept back into thinking and yesterday closed at 2.361(%).
This is a hell of a problem for the Fed. They have been on the rubber chicken circuit this week telling anyone who will listen that three rate hikes in 2017 is the plan because the economy will be…er….all…”all out indicators”…blah, blah, blah…
That’s all true…but only as far as that data goes. When you look at November’s Stupid Consumer Yoke of Debt Report (the Fed calls it Consumer Credit for obvious reasons – they look out for bankster), people were blowing out credit card spending at a rate 13.5% higher than a year ago.
Well hell yes, that would require some hefty hikes.
But I doubt it will carry through. As usual, I expect the Fed will fall victim to “continuation bias” and be ready to apply just the wrong policy – but they won’t see that one coming except in the review mirror since the report out this week (Jan ’17) reflects November ’16 result.
With two MONTHS of lag-time, the rubber chicken people are hearing yesterday’s news.
More useful, I think, is the Gallup Economic Confidence Index. Presently, it is spiking up (supportive of the Fed hikes planned) but I would expect it will decline as the reality of Congress keeping most if not all of the Obamacare tax revenue in place will depress people out here in fly-over country.
Should the Market hit an All-Time-High in the 21,500 range by, oh, March or so, that would mean by May the Fed would be moderating their tone – belatedly saying maybe it was too much, too fast. Or not… I mean we shall see.
But in the meantime the reality of “inflation buzz” has kicked gold up to the $1,200 area and if I remember, I’ll try to get an updated Elliott and trend chart cobbled up.
Best I can hope for is America is mired in a “muddle-through” right now. We have a bit of encouragement in the very short-term (less than 6-months view) but in the longer term we have not come to terms with things like anti-human tax laws and pro-robotics policy that actually kills future job creation.
Lacking a massive investment in R&D (to not only catch up with but to surpass China and others) we look like a middle-of-the-pack country where Peter Pan (Trump) is trying to lead the (Lost Boys/Lost Country) to a new paradigm by defeating Hook (the PTB) and no one wants to admit that 30-year duration investments are no longer viable in an internet/video world.
Even 10-years is a stretch.
The 54-year Kondratieff cycle is merging into our 83-year currency cycle and the purchasing power of the dollar is undeniably down 96% compared with 1913.
So if you have a hard time getting up this morning and getting motivated to have another “average” day at work, can’t say as I blame you.
The reality is that most people under 40 may never be able to retire and gee, kinda kills the buzz about going to work, don’t it? Just think where AI and Robotics will be in 25-30 years when “retirement” comes along. Good luck with that.
We now return you to the rest of today’s dismal.
Life in the Trumpy-Pulpit
Who needs a news network when we can just splice up Trump Tweets? Go direct, cut out middlemen. From Twitter:
“Donald J. Trump ?@realDonaldTrump
2 hours ago
It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued…. released by “Intelligence” even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!
What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never….. have been allowed to run – guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!
The “Unaffordable” Care Act will soon be history!”
All in favor of buying the president-elect a case of Ambien so he can sleep, please say aye…
Seriously: Is there a correlation between Trump outburst intensities and moon phases? Like isn’t this the full moon?
NY Times Trump-Bashing Redux
Does it ever end?
Now they’re after him for not enough women, not enough whatever. Forget the Trump numbers are what Bush rolled with…and is better than Reagan and…oh, where’s my nitro pill?
No, not fake news this (they get one point for that) but I can see where it goes: Next we will read not enough gays, trans, and misc. illegal offspring to please the Northeast Liberals.
If this sounds odd to you, too, it’s because Trump ran for an won office, not the NY Times, which is the point I was getting to. They can’t seem to wrap around that.
But like the old newspapering joke: “Know what news is? It’s the filler between the ads.”
Promoting Paul Ryan
Stupid headlines about this morning: USA Today headlines “Paul Ryan: Russia a ‘menace,’ Putin ‘menacing’.”
Um, let me see: Putin helped overthrow old-line communism in Russia. Has Paul Ryan overthrown the good-old boy’s K Street lock on the Hill? No?
So who is the menace, here?
Here’s hoping USA Today’s favorable coverage works out for Ryan like it did for Clinton…
Facebook’s Brain-Control Project
This topic could be extremely interesting. Not just because of what might be found (don’t worry the tech is decades from wireless) but because it could be pumped to government agencies.
Those spy agencies, when not tripping over their own pechewzelwhackers on decraptic fake news, have been busily building a huge file on EVERYONE in America – even people who haven’t committed crimes. The idea is to get all information about everyone into a single repository for all agencies to share.
Memo: To UrbanSurvival Staff Shrink
WTF is with Obama now?
He obviously is trying to flood the country with unsavory illegals…but now he wants to return illegally entering Cuban refugees?
Is there some kind of secret commie-deal our favorite Alinsky-ite ain’t disclosing? I mean we kick out those from communist countries and teach Syrians how to use fake passports and dump ICE picks on unwary Southwest cities? Seriously WTF?
Why doesn’t Trump have ICE dump some in Chappaqua and outside of Obama’s new digs?