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Tag Archives: Retail sales

Retail Sales’ Amazon Pick Up

The rules of interpretation that apply to the payroll reports also apply to other data series like retail sales. The monthly changes tend to be noisy. Even during the best of times there might be a month way off trend. On the other end, during the worst of times there will be the stray good month. What matters is the balance continuing in each direction – more of the good vs. more of the bad. Or when what seems to be a good month is less good than it used to be. Retail sales had managed...

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Why Go After Hong Kong?

There may yet be bitter irony in the fact that China’s nascent embrace of capitalism in the late eighties allowed it to survive the wave of failed socialist states which fell all throughout the world at the time. While the Berlin Wall came down, the Eastern bloc nearly disappeared, and even the Soviet Union dissolved, the Chinese would stand almost alone as whatever was left of the Communist dream. But while Beijing had come through in the nineties and transformed China into a modern...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: We’re Not There Yet

It’s been a slow turnin’ From the inside out A slow turnin’ But you come about   Slow learnin’ But you learn to sway A slow turnin’ baby Not fade away   Now I’m in my car I got the radio on I’m yellin’ at the kids in the back ‘Cause they’re bangin’ like Charlie Watts   Slow Turning by John Hiatt   “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways”, Mike said. “Gradually and then...

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Globally Synchronized, After All

For there to be a second half rebound, there has to be some established baseline growth. Whatever might have happened, if it was due to “transitory” factors temporarily interrupting the economic track then once those dissipate the economy easily gets back on track because the track itself was never bothered. More and more, though, it appears at least elsewhere that the track was bothered. Whether China, Singapore, or Germany, a nastier number four is taking shape particularly since last...

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China’s Managed Decline Manages Another Quarter

The latest batch of economic from China featured a little something for everyone. For those thinking about a second half rebound, retail sales gained nearly 10% in June. It was the first time near to double digits since March 2018. At the other end of the spectrum, Real GDP rose just 6.2% year-over-year in the second quarter. That’s the lowest in modern China’s history. The rest of the data fell somewhere in between, a muddled middle of low-state growth and cancelling oscillations. Some are...

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US IP: May Was A Good Month And It Was Still ‘Manufacturing Recession’

Whether or not a full-scale recession shows up in the US is an open question. There’s less of one in US industry. The “manufacturing recession” we last saw of Euro$ #3 is becoming clearer as a repeat property in Euro$ #4. According to the Federal Reserve, May was a relatively good month for industry – total output didn’t decline from April. No matter in the big picture. The trajectory is becoming very well established. As is consistent with economic and market data from all over the world,...

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China’s Wolf, Not Dragon

Much of the original thesis on economic decoupling surrounded myths of what were believed invulnerable economies. Emerging markets might see some slowing during 2008, but they weren’t supposed to drop off. China was right at the top of everyone’s list, the unstoppable force then transforming the world’s political as well as economic order. In the early months of the Global Financial Crisis (how was it global, again?), that was how it went. The US and much of Europe were in deep trouble. The...

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Retail Sales (US): Green Shoots Under the 3% Line?

Retail Sales rose just 3.46% year-over-year (unadjusted) in May 2019. The estimate for April was revised substantially higher, now suggesting growth of 5.6%. Altogether, however, consumer spending continues to be unusually weak. How unusual? The 6-month average, a better gauge of growth conditions given the noisy nature of the series, is now below 3% for the first time since late 2016. The 3% mark is historically more like recession than anything else. In more recent times, with the lack of...

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Dimmed Hopes In China Cars, Too

As noted earlier this week, the world’s two big hopes for the global economy in the second half are pinned on the US labor market continuing to exert its purported strength and Chinese authorities stimulating out of every possible (monetary) opening. Incoming data, however, continues to point to the fallacies embedded within each. The US labor market is a foundation of non-inflationary sand, and China’s “stimulus” is proving again to be little more than ad hoc deflection of an enormous...

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Global Doves Expire: China’s Big 3 Stats Put To Rest RRR Myths

The Fed has its pause. The ECB is going to conduct another T-LTRO. But of all the central bank responses to the “unexpected” global weakness of late 2018, the Chinese’s was supposed to be the leader. The most forceful pushback against a worldwide downturn was reported to have been the PBOC’s “powerful” RRR cuts. China’s central bank conducted two of them in January alone. China’s economic data in 2019, however, is putting to rest more than just the myth of RRR “stimulus.” There’s rebalancing....

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