Monday, July 15, 2013

The Softer Side of Department Store Sales

Click to enlarge.

As disturbing as that chart looks for owners of department store stock, I have something even more disturbing to point out. It's not even adjusted for inflation! Am I done disturbing you yet? Not even close. It's going down as the population grows! Here's a crazy thought to maximize the discomfort. Let's chart where we are relative to that long-term trend in red.

Click to enlarge.

Hey, that looks an awful lot like I'm charting business cycles. We're more than 2% below the declining trend again (just like we were in 2002 and 2008). Third time's the charm!

I do have some words of encouragement for those who believe that the economy is virtually guaranteed to accelerate to the upside soon though. Good luck on that theory! Nothing is impossible if we all set our minds to it (and nobody panics at the first sign of things becoming unglued again)!

I'm known for my undying optimism you know, and/or my sarcasm. Mostly my sarcasm I guess. ;)

Have I mentioned lately that I have no desire to embrace "risk on" assets? Seriously. Sigh.

This is not investment advice.

See Also:
Third Time's the Charm (Musical Tribute)

Source Data:
U.S. Census: Monthly & Annual Retail Trade


Troy said...

mebbe Obama can get Boehner, Cantor, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell to get a big kumbaya gathering going, and DC do something other than rename post offices this year.

real per-capita government cheese

the "surge" of ARRA and stabilizers was nice, but looks like the economy could use some more stimulation course that we got 2000-2007.

Another $1.1T/yr of bubble borrowed money drops would also be great.

Troy said...

YOY debt take-on real per-capita to match per-capita cheese giveaway.

Borrowing $4000/yr doesn't seem so bad looking at it like that.

Aye, but that flow is $0 now.

Good thing the gov't is borrowing that $4000/yr now instead I guess.

Troy said...

last graph back to 1970.

it tells a story if you can read it, LOL

to recap, blue is per-capita government spending
red is per-capita new consumer borrowing
green is per-capita new gov't borrowing

all 2012 dollars

blue, what can be said. Welcome to the USSA.

in the red you can see the financial terrorism of the Fed beating down the consumer when needed, 1970-1990.

To purge inflation Volcker had to shut off our credit cards completely during the double-dip recession.

But the rest of the 1980s were a nice buzz of government and consumer debt expansion.

Leverages were low so life was good!

Then the 1990 bump hit, but gov't did a bit of counter-cycle borrowing, and then the Democratic Congress raised taxes a lot and we had divided government after the next election since the electorate didn't like that much, end result being fiscal probity.

But consumers started borrowing, and borrowing, and borrowing . . . there was no limit, until there was.

The the Pelosi gang gave Bush and then Obama two $1T checks to try to make everything better.

The End.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The "cheese" doesn't appear to be trickling down to Sears all that well.

No big deal. We'll just transfer the wealth from Sears customer service employees to customer serviice employee.

Oops. I'm sure must have more than one customer service employee, not that I've ever spoken to one.

Cluster@#$%ed. Sigh.

In all seriousness, welcome to the era of weak job growth and strong fod stamp participation growth. It's not quite like the life portrayed in the Jetsons, but as they say, it's close enough for government work.