The markets are attempting to rally on the “unexpectedly positive” retail sales numbers for April. The bullshit is getting so deep in this country, you have to wear hip boots. Even though I’m a trusting soul and know the MSM and our Wall Street economist “experts” will tell me what I need to know, I decided to go directly to the report. Here is a link in case you want the actual data:
Here are my observations about the “strong” retail sales:
- Through the beauty of seasonal adjustments the actual 2.7% decrease in retail sales in April versus March becomes a .09% increase, which is rounded up to .1% by the MSM. The government drones would never use seasonal adjustments to make numbers look better than they really are. Right?
- Even with seasonal adjustments, retail sales only went up $377 million. The subprime financing scam being run by the Obama owned Ally Financial and the other government subsidized Wall Street shysters resulted in a $783 million increase in auto sales. Therefore, retail sales excluding this government use of your tax dollars actually declined by $406 billion.
- The MSM is crowing about the lower gasoline sales which are benefitting the American consumer. If you look at the 4 month trend versus last year, you see that retail sales at gasoline stations is down 1.1% versus last year. Let me remind you that last year was the highest average price for gasoline in history, so a 1.1% decline is not exactly a windfall to the consumer. Do you see the MSM reporting the facts on this chart?
- The first four months of retail sales in 2013 have sucked. Overall, they are up 3.3%. Subtracting the government boosted auto sales and the increase is 2.5%. Even using the government manipulated CPI yields basically flat retail sales with 2012. Using a real inflation rate of 5% reveals that real retail sales are declining by 2.5% in the first four months of 2013.
- If there is a real housing recovery how could retail sales of furniture, electronics and building materials be languishing in the -0.7% to 3.6% range? How can general merchandise sales (Wal-Mart, Target) be 3.4% below last year?
The fact is that real retail sales are falling. The Obama tax increases and Obamacare insurance premium increases have sucked the life out of the consumer. Gas prices have risen 10 cents per gallon in the last two weeks. The busy driving season is coming. The Middle East is a powderkeg. Hurricane season isn’t far off. Companies are cutting the hours of their employees. The savings rate is already at 2.7%. Consumers are reducing credit card debt. There are 10,000 people per day turning 65. Sounds like a recipe for strong retail sale growth. Right?
Maybe a government drone economist could chime in and explain the extreme wide variation in seasonal adjustments over the last ten years. Shouldn’t seasonal adjustments for the same month be fairly consistent over time? Inquiring minds want to know.