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Tag Archives: Retail sales

US Sales and Production Remain Virus-Free, But Still Aren’t Headwind-Free

The lull in US consumer spending on goods has reached a fifth month. The annual comparisons aren’t good, yet they somewhat mask the more recent problems appearing in the figures. According to the Census Bureau, total retail sales in January rose 4.58% year-over-year (unadjusted). Not a good number, but better, seemingly, than early on in 2019 when the series was putting out 3s and 2s. As has been the pattern in these things, global synchronized downturns, the middle part of last year sets up...

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Two Years And Now It’s Getting Serious

We knew German Industrial Production for December 2019 was going to be ugly given what deStatis had reported for factory orders yesterday. In all likelihood, Germany’s industrial economy ended last year sinking and maybe too quickly. What was actually reported, however, exceeded every pessimistic guess and expectation – by a lot. IP absolutely plummeted in the final month of 2019. Compared to the prior December, the index was down an alarming 6.7%. Minus seven doesn’t sound too until look...

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China Enters 2020 Still (Intent On) Managing Its Decline

Chinese Industrial Production accelerated further in December 2019, rising 6.9% year-over-year according to today’s estimates from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That was a full percentage point above consensus. IP had bottomed out right in August at a record low 4.4%, and then, just as this wave of renewed optimism swept the world, it has rebounded alongside it. Rather than suggest the global economy is picking up, or ended last year in a “good place”, when placed in context of...

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Neither US Retail Nor Industry Ended 2019 In A Good Place

US retail sales were disappointing in December 2019, though it depends upon your perspective for what that means. Unadjusted, total retail sales were 6.01% more last month than the same month of the prior year. It was the highest year-over-year growth rate since October 2018. The reason was entirely due to base effects. You might remember Christmas 2018 for its disastrous sales. Unless the economy struck another landmine, while still struggling in the aftermath of that previous one, the...

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Which Way Is Japan Really Leaning (Which Means For A Whole Lot More Than Japan)?

Last year’s landmine was a global affair. It wasn’t just US markets and the US economy which were so negatively impacted by it. Since it originated in the eurodollar system, the landmine (its effects) spread pretty much to all corners of the globe. Take Japan, for example. There really isn’t any (other) reason why October 2018 should show up in data series after data series. Yet, it does. Interpretations of Japanese economic figures have been clouded of late by the VAT tax hike which the Abe...

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China Data: Something New, or Just The Latest Scheduled Acceleration?

The Chinese government was serious about imposing pollution controls on its vast stock of automobiles. The largest market in the world for cars and trucks, the net result of China’s “miracle” years of eurodollar-financed modernization, for the Chinese people living in its huge cities the non-economic costs are, unlike the air, immediately clear each and every day. A new set of relatively strict pollution controls was added in the second half of this year. As is usual in these cases,...

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If The Best Case For Consumer Christmas Is That It Started Off In The Wrong Month…

Gone are the days when Black Friday dominated the retail calendar. While it used to be a somewhat fun way to kick off the holiday shopping season, it had morphed into something else entirely in later years. Scenes of angry shoppers smashing each other over the few big deals stores would truly offer, internet clips of crying children watching in horror as their parents transformed their local Walmart into Thunderdome. Two shoppers enter, one shopper leaves…with the goodies. Economists if they...

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Retail Sales Make It Two Toward The Second Act

One monthly result does not make a trend. Two? Still not a trend, but edging closer to one and more solid analysis. If making a claim based off the potential for one high frequency result is going out on a limb, then a second result confirming the first while not yet solid ground is at least a bit thicker of a limb. Last month, we talked about patterns and how there were distinct ones when it came to certain aspects of these eurodollar problems. One example is the bond market and how it gives...

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China’s Xi Free To Continue The Downward Course

Perhaps ominously, there were overcast and hazy conditions in Beijing back on October 1 when China put on its largest display of military force in the nation’s history. To celebrate the Communist’s regime 70 years of that history, the country’s Chairman Xi Jinping dressed up like he was its original founder Chairman Mao. Joined by his immediate two predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi like Mao was everywhere during the festivities. There have been expressed speculative concerns by...

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The Dollar-driven Cage Match: Xi vs Li in China With Nowhere Else To Go

China’s growing troubles go way back long before trade wars ever showed up. It was Euro$ #2 that set this course in motion, and then Euro$ #3 which proved the country’s helplessness. It proved it not just to anyone willing to honestly evaluate the situation, it also established the danger to one key faction of Chinese officials. The entire world slowed in 2012 following #2, but until the bottom of #3 it wasn’t really clear what that might mean. For a very long time, especially with Western...

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