Remember when the boneheads and bimbos on CNBC assured us that retail sales sucked in December, January, and February because it was cold and snowy? Ivy League trained economists shilling for Wall Street and the Federal government pompously declared that once Spring arrived consumers would unleash a torrent of spending with money they don’t have. Well Spring has sprung and the average American who has lower real household income than they did in 1999 is stuck paying higher taxes, higher food prices, higher energy prices and massively higher insurance premiums for free Obamacare. Or maybe the mild temperatures and sunny skies discouraged people from spending.

Discretionary, non-auto related, spending collapsed in April after being weak for the prior four months. That tremendous housing recovery is really doing wonders for furniture and electronics sales. Get ready to see more Space Available signs in front of vacant Best Buys and Ashley Furniture stores. The 3.4% surge in gasoline prices during April did wonders for gasoline sales. At least we have that going for us. Senior citizens must have stocked up on cat food in April since the price of beef and pork prohibits them from eating real food.

Motor vehicle sales continued to do fabulously as government owned Ally Financial and the Too Big To Trust Wall Street shysters doled out 7 year 0% subprime auto loans to deadbeats. It’s amazing how well you can juice sales by giving away your product, with no concern about being paid. A fiat money system is wonderful. Ask a banker. Drugstore sales did great, as free Obamacare distributes your tax dollars into the pockets of the Free Shit Army. I wonder how much of the hundreds of billions in government issued student loans is actually being spent at GameStop, Paneras, and Dick’s. It is Spring, and the 92 million non-working Americans need to work on their golf games.

The most shocking data is that on-line retail sales are FALLING. Keep buying that Amazon stock. That drone delivery will surely boost sales. Now that sales taxes are charged on most on-line transactions, this has destroyed much of their competitive advantage. The government drones have succeeded in siphoning off more money from the pockets of Americans, without benefiting the bricks and mortar dying retailers.

The control group, which excludes debt financed auto sales, food, gasoline and building materials was actually negative in April. This feeds the GDP calculation.

And lastly, remember these figures are BEFORE inflation is taken into account. Even using the fake government inflation figures, we have NEGATIVE real retail sales in the month where the “experts” assured us we would see a surge in spending. The country is in recession and the stock market is hitting new all-time highs. Guess who is winning?


  1. Blame It On The… Balmy Spring Weather

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/13/2014 09:15 -0400

    Back in February, when January retail sales plunged and every single expert said consumers stayed indoors prevented from spending what money they don’t have on goods and services they don’t need, we pointed out a tiny little fly in the ointment: Online sales tumbled far more than the headline and core retail sales prints.


    Fast forward to today when today’s retail sales report, the first one of the second quarter, was supposed to show that with “harsh winter weather” in the rearview mirror, consumers would finally unleash all that pent up spending, in a critical report to send Q2 GDP on its way to what some say would be a 5% GDP quarter (Goldman estimate: 3.9%).

    Instead what it showed was that the spending in the first month of Q2 was far worse than even the last month of the fateful first quarter. Who could have possibly foreseen this? Oh yes, anyone who observed that the US household savings rate had recently tumbled to the second lowest print since 2008 to pay for the March spending spree, and as a result they were tapped out when April rolled around.


    But the biggest surprise was that while consumers largely avoided spending in outdoor retail locations, a far uglier print was observed when looking at non-store retailers, aka online sales. At 0.9% it was even worse than the January drubbing.


    Here is the spin: tapped out US consumers simply did not have money to go out and splurge after the March spending bonanza, which sadly fell in a quarter which as we already know, will have a negative GDP print and thus is a wash (due to weather, remember). However, as a result of the balmy spring weather, US consumers didn’t spend online either, as they were forced to go outside and enjoy the lovely weather… where as already noted they didn’t spend any money either.

    See, that was easy.

  2. “Higher insurance premiums for free Obamacare”. Excellent. If there were a Republican politician who weren’t a moran they could use that sarcasm to parry Democrats’ claim that Obamacare is a success. Dems and the media successfully got everyone to focus of whether the website worked or whether it would be five million or eight million people who signed up through the website. Never mind that the whole scheme – apart from being unconstitutional IMO – is a vast redistribution program where most people are paying more for less.

  3. The weather definitely has a positive affect on the economy.

    You see, in a few minutes I’m going to power wash our large deck. Oh, wait … I don’t have a power wash machine, I’m doing it by hand. So, I bought some Deck Cleaner for $9.99 and a long handled scrub brush for $20. Due to the finally warm weather, yesterday we bought about $120 worth of flowers, potting soil, clay pots, and 5 herb plants (parsley, basil, cinnamon basil, mint, and dill weed) for $10. Lastly, I bought a $25 garden shear cuz the bushes are going nuts. I’ll bet our water bill goes up five bucks as I wash down the deck and water the plants.

    So much economic activity ….. $180 spent cuz of NICE WEATHER!! So, Admin is wrong. I expect Home Depot profits to go through the roof this quarter. Stucky Stock Tip: Buy Home Depot stock NOW. You’ll thank me later.

  4. Even if retail sales increase, it seems to me that the majority of daily purchases are for food and gasoline. Given the high rate of increase in the prices of these, doesn’t that mean that we’re spending more money but getting less for it?

    Doesn’t that mean a decline in the material standard of living?

  5. Amazon pissed me off recently, jacking with the prices on items in my cart.

    So I ordered the items I really needed from another online retailer. I paid a little more plus shipping charges, but that’s ok. I don’t need amazon, just like I don’t need Walmart.


  6. Stuck,

    Good on ya. We just finished planting another 8 or so trees in the orchard. More apples, plums, walnuts and we also bought a couple almond trees. Had to buy about 15 bags of soil and about a dozen of cedar wood chips. Young trees need the chips to prevent evaporation and also no grass near the trees – the grass sucks up water that the trees need. In a few years, provided we live that long, just what we get from the orchard will probably be able to sustain us fairly well… not to mention plum wine, apple jack, hard cider, etc..

    The missus is also planting herbs, same as you all. I bought a bunch of big clay pots a couple years ago and stacked them up in the shed. Nice to have a supply.

    There’s two big projects left on the list. One is a greenhouse. We tried the garden thing and we were overrun by weeds and critters. The other is my shop. Greenhouse comes first. It’s got to be overengineered, since we live on a ridge and get whacked by SW winds all the time, plus some nasty storms. Those half-barrel plastic covered things that look like Quonset Huts aren’t strong enough. I put one up and it will blow away first good storm we have.

  7. Any informed person knows our economy is a charade. Even though the stock market keeps rising, it’s doing so ONLY because of federal reserve life-support (QE). No country including ours will ever pay off or even pay down their debt. All will likely keep accumulating debt indefinitely while joblessness keeps rising. Those at the very top of the financial system and Wall Street know this.

    They also know that regardless of what happens to our economy or any other country’s economy, as long as they can artificially prop up the stock market and keep pushing it upward, they can keep the charade (or Ponzi Scheme if you prefer) going forever.

    I just don’t believe this. Enriching a minority while subsidizing many others to prop up our economy only increased debt and doesn’t grow desperately needed good jobs. Lying about inflation, job growth, debt, and many other financials can’t prevent economic failure indefinitely. Other factors will contribute to failure – including Fed QE.

    The worst thing is that many just don’t know or care about our serious financial problems because they receive a monthly government subsidy and so are willing to ignore government mismanagement and corruption and failure to grow millions of good jobs and reduce our overwhelming debt because they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. Over half our population receives some type of monthly government subsidy. This is definitely NOT what prosperity and economic “recovery” are supposed to be about.

    By not biting the hand and forcing widespread political and other reforms to help themselves and their families, they set themselves up for economic catastrophe. I simply don’t believe stock market gains alone will prop up our economy and the world economy indefinitely.

  8. Billy,
    Reworking the shop since I finished remodeling the bathroom. I need to make room for my lathe, drill press and dust collector. The great thing about cleaning up the shop is finding stuff you forgot you had, it’s like Christmas without the bill.

    I thought this was a neat design for a greenhouse:


    I’ve wanted to build one as I have the same problem with deer, rabbits and ground hogs, and you cannot shoot them where I live. I have the lumber as I dumpster dive for lumber on our job sites, but my wife is afraid of me building another building on our small lot.

    Stucky get back to work, I already sanded out and oiled my deck last week. The herbs, tomatoes and peppers are planted, hopefully I can plant a few more blueberry bushes this year, as the deer ate my last foray into blueberries.


  9. I see Sears is starting a program to lease appliances, furniture, and electronics if the item costs at least $280 and the leasee is over 18 and makes at least $1000 a month. This is designed for folks who cant’t wait for a layaway or can’t get financing. If the leasee stops paying, Sears will pick up the item.

    Sounds like a sure fire way to steer Sears away from bankruptcy.

  10. I ran into a guy recently who I could see wanted to talk. Taking Dale Carnegie’s advice I managed to utter a simple “Where are you from?” This guy then preceded to tell me, in 30 seconds, how he’s a real estate agent from East Bumblefuck, how the market is booming, how he just managed to sneak away from all the great business for a while, how real estate is the first to rebound in a recovery. I asked who has money to buy all these quarter and half a million dollar homes. His response “A lot of people have a lot of money.” What a truthful statement. A lot of people (government workers, government contractors, and parasites in government subsidized industries) have a lot of money (more than can be put in the ripoff banks, in the carnival game stock market, or the stigma of the mattress). They are fueling Housing Bubble 2.0 only this time a crucial component is missing.. the subprime dupes.

    Whether you came around to economic doom model in 2008, 2011, or somewhere between there and now, it appears you were too early to the party. But the worst thing you can do now is to abandon your position and start drinking the tainted water from the CNBC well. The admin exposes the truth in the economic numbers. The bulk of the population is cutting back on bread, while the government class swap condos. The timetable is uncertain but the outcome is not.


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