Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Retail sales recovery



Retail sales have now staged a complete recovery, both in nominal and real terms. No sign of any impending recession here, that's for sure. Indeed, the recovery in sales is impressive given that there are 4 million fewer people working today than there were at the peak in early 2008.

17 comments:

Bill said...

Thoughts on whether the Republicans should fold on the debt ceiling issue or take the country down?

Gloeschi said...

Ceiling or not - debt is debt. And too much debt is unsustainable. If debt grows faster than GDP, even elementary students can figure out that there will be a point in the future where things stop to go smoothly.

On retail sales: yes, spending is up. What does this mean in times of stagnant real income? More leverage. Just what the Fed prescribed. Don't know if this really is a cause for celebration.

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Watch for Sears and J C Penny to file for bankruptcy protection in 2013....

The Roller said...

Debt. Assets.

Even if we are discussing the US governments assets and liabilities, how prudent is it to look at only one side of a balance sheet?

Joseph Constable said...

What pray tell, are the assets of the U.S. Government? Buildings? They don't produce any rents? Jet fighters? They don't produce...
Intellectual propery? The knowledge base of the federal workforce? Now I am laughing at my own joke.

I am uneasy about retail sales in face of Apple Computer breaking down below its support at $500.

Jim said...

There is something seriously wrong with these numbers. Just like unemployment that misses the population who have given up there is something corrupt with these numbers.

LOL when I see this graph and still see storefronts for lease and barren stores in my town.

I call a big BS on this one.

aks said...

Are basing this on some thesis or blindly throwing a dart based on current market sentiment?

Gene Prescott said...

A couple of MIT professors recently postulated that automation was being significantly deployed, creating business activity (which would include retail sales) but that employment was not recovering ... and, in their opinion would not recover. However, they thought the labor forces most vulnerable are in China and India. That is, manufactoring jobs were coming home.

Gene Prescott said...

Coming home, but handled by automation rather than people.

marcusbalbus said...

who cares if it took 4 years to get back to where we were 4 years ago. in the meanwhile, where we should be recedes further from achievement. your blog is very lame for its insistence on mindless cheerleading.

Scott Grannis said...

It's not "mindless cheerleading" when the economy consistently exceeds dismal expectations.

Scott Grannis said...

Re: The debt ceiling. I think the Republicans have a constructive, non-threatening solution to this. The Constitution mandates that the government service its debt, so no one is threatening to default because that is impossible. The Repubs will try to emphasize that they are completely willing to raise the debt ceiling, but the Dems are going to have to take ownership of the spending issue, and the Senate is going to have to pass a budget.

With all the furor over the end of the social security tax holiday, I think the public is primed to focus on spending as the main cause of our problems.

Benjamin said...

Nice post.

The debt ceiling? What if the Fed pays down debt through QE?

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Scott, I disagree that the big government Democrats are "going to have to take ownership of the spending issue" -- that will not happen -- if the military-industrial Republicans want to change Federal spending practices, then the military-industrial Republicans must first get elected as a majority in two of the big three Federal decision-making bodies (you can pick the three): a) the House of Representative; b) the Senate; c) the Presidency -- the military-industrial Republicans will remain marginalized until they can muster the moxy to win more elections and seats in those three bodies -- the big question for the GOP is how to win more seats from the big government Democrats -- I would argue that following a tactic of obstruction is not serving the GOP cause very well -- in fact, I completely disagree with your view that "the public is primed to focus on spending as the main cause of our problems" -- rather, I believe the public is increasingly likely to hold the military-industrial Republicans responsible for constructing a counter-productive conservative culture of "racial resentment, distrust of government, hatred of immigrants and violently anti-choice misogynists and demagogues" -- more at:

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/2012/12/republican-party-lost.html

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/2013/01/colin-powell-on-republicans.html

In my view, the GOP is failing to represent pragmatically the cause of fiscal conservatism in America -- the election scorecard is my proof -- we need the GOP to relook its platform in order to create a more inclusive, less intolerant, and less obstructionist approach to promoting conservative values -- our nation desperately needs for Republicans to reform, not their philosophy, but their style of governing.

I predict the debt-ceiling play of the military-industrial Republicans will fail, thus enabling the big government Democrats to win the day, which is a horror story.

For the record, I have no quarter for either the big government Democrats or the military-industrial Republicans -- said another way, I seriously doubt that either of our nation's largest political parties truly intend to cut Federal spending -- rather, the big government Democrats intend to transfer guns into butter, while the military-industrial Republicans simply intend to transfer butter into guns -- neither party will cut Federal spending.

Folks, if we want to cut Federal spending, we need to move our support away from the big government Democrats and military-industrial Republicans, and begin to campaign instead for the minimum government and maximum liberty Libertarians -- more at:

http://www.lp.org

From where I sit, neither the big government Democrats or the military-industrial Republicans have the nation's best interests at heart -- in the meantime, the GOP is its own worst enemy on Capital Hill.

William said...

Don't forget the "underground economy" where data is not reported, taxes are not paid but the profits maybe spent on goods and services.

And over the past few years there has been a trend toward bartering.

Scott Grannis said...

It's also likely that foreign visitors are buying lots of stuff here since the dollar is very weak against almost all other currencies.

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