Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

June retail sales decline after taking inflation into account, but overall pandemic gains “stick”

June retail sales decline after taking inflation into account, but overall pandemic gains “stick” As usual, retail sales is one of my favorite indicators, because it gives us so much information about the consumer economy.  The news for June was mixed. Nominally retail sales were up +0.6% for the month. But after taking into account […]

May retail sales decline, but 10%+ gain in retail sales since the onset of the pandemic remains intact

May retail sales decline, but 10%+ gain in retail sales since the onset of the pandemic remains intact [Note: I’ll comment on industrial production in a separate post later] I feel like I could simply repost my retail sales piece from one month ago, because the story is the same: at first glance, May’s retail […]

April retail sales “disappoint,” but maintain almost all of March’s surge

April retail sales “disappoint,” but maintain almost all of March’s surge [Note: I’ll comment on industrial production in a separate post later] At first glance, April’s retail sales report looks like another Big Miss. Nominally (blue) sales increased less than 0.1% (rounded to unchanged). Adjusted for inflation (red), they declined -0.7%: But the important point […]

Why March’s big jump in real retail sales augurs well for big employment gains through summer

Why March’s big jump in real retail sales augurs well for big employment gains through summer Yesterday I wrote that the steep decline in new jobless claims in the past 4 weeks likely presages another big monthly employment gain, on the order of 1 million or more jobs. Another very big positive for the next […]

Let’s put a sales tax on Wall Street

I learned of a petition at the presidents site, that one where anyone can start a petition and have it addressed if you reach 100,000 signatures. We the People it’s called. The petition is sponsored by United Front Against Austerity which also goes by the name Against Austerity.org  I know nothing about this organization, though […]

Euro Area Retail Sales Portend Negative Quarter of Real Consumption

Euro Area Retail Sales Portend Negative Quarter of Real Consumption by Rebecca Wilder Today Eurostat released its June estimate of real retail sales for the Euro area. On a month/month basis, real retail sales increased at a rate of 0.1%. However, on a trended basis, the 3-month/3-month average growth rate was down 0.7% in the […]

Wilder on ‘Real retail sales in Europe: will German consumers save the day? Maybe, perhaps’

After the US report on Q2… Angry Bear and credit market weakness in the eurozone, Rebecca takes a look at the retail side of the economy: Retail sales in Germany and Spain were reported last week for the month of June. On a working-day and not-seasonally adjusted basis, real retail sales fell 7.0% on the […]

Main Street America and getting to be middle class

By Daniel Becker We all know the arguments about the loss of good jobs. Automation, competition, outsourcing. We’ve been told that America was striking out to raise it’s status when it came to jobs. Don’t lament the loss of those blue collar manufacturing jobs to cheap labor. They aren’t worth it. Step up. The new […]

An auspicious sign: the consumer (for now) is back

I remain very skeptical about the sustainability of the recovery, as the labor market is in shambles and nominal wage growth is unlikely to facilitate “healthy” deleveraging – please see this recent post “Reducing household financial leverage: the easy way and the hard way”. I digress; because you can’t fight the data. And for now, […]