Two weeks ago, Goldman analysts were stunned when they noted that in recent weeks gasoline demand in the US has collapsed to levels that suggest not all is well with the economy. In fact, as the bank’s oil expert Damien Courvalin said “to achieve the 5.9% decline suggested by the weekly data, our model requires PCE to contract 6%, in other words, a recession.”
Goldman then quickly changed the unpleasant narrative – one which would suggest that the US economy is in far worse shape than official data represent – and provided several alternative explanations why such a “sudden collapse is unlikely” and said that “we view the larger than seasonal ytd builds in US gasoline stocks as driven by transient supply factors rather than persistent demand issues.”
Perhaps, but so far those “transient” supply factors are only getting more chronic, and as supply continues to grow in anticipation of a demand bounce that refuses to materialize, leading to ever louder speculation that there is something very wrong with the US consumer…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 18, 2017.