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Tag Archives: Retail sales

A Cautious China

The Chinese are well past their trough, so there may be some meaningful interpretations for us to take from their data. Then again, we already know there’s not much there from China’s trade figures. Exercise caution, in other words.One key reason why is that China’s going to get hit with a second wave. Virus outbreak maybe, economic disruption definitely. The earlier numbers for the Big 3 stats, Industrial Production, Retail Sales, and Fixed Asset Investment (FAI), all tanked during the...

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How Much “V” In Another (minus) 98?

Technically, by showing one decimal place maybe this doesn’t exactly qualify. Then again, I was only half serious. When Mexico’s government reported earlier this week that auto production fell by almost 100% in April, I wrote it was suggestive of the great possibly lingering difficulties being forecast for the other side of this economic dislocation. Automakers, basically, aren’t buying the “V” and more than that they very likely don’t have the cash to keep producing even at minimal...

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15/5/20: U.S. Retail Sales and Employment: Pandemicession

Data through April 2020 on U.S. Retail Sales is in, so here are two charts: Retail Sales are down 15.08% m/m in April, and down 18.25% on 1Q 2020 average. Year on year, sales are down 17.83%. Losses in retail sales in April amounted to USD 65.97 billion m/m and USD80.635 billion y/y. March-April cumulated losses amounted to USD 93 billion y/y.Meanwhile, jobs losses in the Retail Sales sector have been dramatic as well: Employment in Retail Sales sector fell 2,127,000 in the first two...

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Just One More And Q1 Will Be A Clean Sweep Of Fragility

The Japanese went ahead with it anyway. Real GDP had bounced back, sort of, from a near recession in 2018. Central bankers at the Bank of Japan had reassured Shinzo Abe that the economy was on the mend. Therefore, the second round of the VAT tax hike, an imposition which had been postponed since 2015, could go ahead in 2019. The government had put it off long enough. In this way, Japan made the same mistake late last year about the tax everyone made this year about the pandemic response....

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There’s No V In Wholesale

With survey after survey showing Americans are now firmly more concerned about the economy than the pandemic, the narrative reassurance program will be even more in demand than ever. The latest Axios-Ipsos poll suggests nine out of ten US citizens are today worried about economic disaster. To counter the growing angst, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin declared over the weekend that his super-secret economic models say everything will be back to normal, if not better, starting around August....

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What’s *Really* Going On In China?

Questioning the veracity of Chinese estimates (for anything) has always been something of an amateur sport. For a stat like real GDP, everyone “knows” that it is managed. In a complex world where an economic system for a billion and a half is incomprehensibly unpredictable, there’s really no other way to always hit your government’s mark (unless the Chinese are using the same accountants and corporate managers who likewise manage to “beat” their quarterly EPS by $0.01 every time).The world...

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Hints of the Second Wave (Demand Destruction) Showing Up Right At The Start of the First

What’s going on right now in the global economy is mostly the first of two pieces. Waves, if you like. The economic shutdown is an artificial dislocation, a non-economic factor that is interrupting regular activity and business for non-economic reasons. Because it is near-total in most places, this first piece is going to produce ridiculous numbers across all the economic accounts.Far more important is the second piece, or second wave. That’s the true demand shock when we find out by just...

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Is GFC2 Over?

Is it over? That’s the question everyone is asking about both major crises, the answer is more obvious for only the one. As it pertains to the pandemic, no, it is not. Still the early stages. The other crisis, the global dollar run? Not looking like it, either. Stocks rebounded because of “major helicopter stimulus” or because that’s just what stocks do during times like these. Some of the biggest up days have followed, and are often found in between, the greatest down days. But while shares...

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Unprecedented in China, Yes, But Then What?

These numbers are essentially meaningless. They aren’t completely devoid of content, of course, just that such substance is of limited use. The Chinese have confirmed that their economy had shut down in the January-February period. The estimates for the Big 3 accounts were way below any and every consensus, thus demonstrating the severity of the disruption. First, the figures: Industrial Production in January and February 2020 was -13.5% from January and February 2019; Retail Sales -20.5%;...

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If Some Economists Are No Longer Buying It

Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz ignited and invited controversy today when he signaled that the federal government is looking at a possible suspension to constitutional budget measures. With a nasty political fight certain to follow, even temporarily adjourning the country’s so-called debt brake would not be easy. With Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party already in a precarious position, one might wonder, why now? The mere hint of a softening to the prevailing budget position picked up an...

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