Would This Have Happened Under President Hillary? Holiday Retail Sales Soar Compare To Last Year

We are nearly a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, and the economic numbers continue to look quite good. On Monday, we learned that U. S. retail sales during the holiday season are projected to be way up compared to 2016. Yes, there are all sorts of economic red flags popping up all over the place, and I write about them regularly. And without a doubt, 2017 has been one of the worst years for brick and mortar retail stores in a very long time. But when something good happens we should acknowledge that too, and many are giving President Trump credit for the fact that retail sales are projected to be up 4.9 percent this holiday season compared to last year…
Despite thousands of store closings this year, Americans supplied a final flurry of spending to give retailers their best holiday season sales since 2011, figures released Tuesday show.
U. S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U. S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence.
Of course this doesn’t mean that things have completely turned around for the retail industry. We still absolutely shattered the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and the final number is going to be somewhere right around 7,000. The following comes from CNBC…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 26th, 2017.

UMich Confidence Disappoints As Bipartisan Divide Weighs On Hope

Hope is fading among Americans…

Consumer confidence continued to slowly sink in December, with most of the decline among lower income households.
Tax reform was spontaneously mentioned by 29% of all respondents, with a nearly equal split between positive and negative impacts on economic prospects.
As usual, party affiliation was the dominant correlate of people’s assessments of the tax legislation.
The long term outlook for the economy was most affected, with three-quarters of Republicans expecting a stronger economy and three-quarters of Democrats expecting a downturn.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.

Holiday Spending Set To Hit 12-Year High Thanks To…Debt

Even though consumer confidence cooled for a second straight month in November, CNBC is reporting that holiday spending for the average American household is on track to be the highest in 12 years.
Amazingly, the CNBC All-America Survey found that the average family will spend $900 for the first time in the 12-year history of the poll, eclipsing last year’s estimate of $702 by a wide margin.
Furthermore, the survey of 800 American households – which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points – found a surge in the percentage of Americans planning to spend more than $1,000. The number climbed to 29%, up from24% last year.
But before economists and retail analysts begin recalibrating their expectations, it’s worth noting that much of this spending will be funded by debt. Another study by RentCafe which examined spending habits of American renters discovered that, in the 50 largest US metropolitan areas, the average renting family will go into debt due to holiday-related expenses, debt that must be paid off in the opening months of the following year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.

Vice Index – Where the US Economy Stands Today Into 2018

US Consumer spending is accelerating again. Just in time for the Holiday Season. Consumer confidence is driving a boost in holiday spending.
November Sees Several Positive Spending Tailwinds
For starters, holiday shopping started early: rather than wait for Black Friday in late November, many retailers started offering sales in early November.
Other positive trends were:
Mild weather: mild weather brings out more shoppers. New iPhone will add to sales Solid macroeconomic conditions: The economy moved at a steady pace. One major headwind was the reversal of the hurricane recovery spending. From auto sales to furniture. Building materials and appliances. Hurricane recovery spending pushed up retail.
You may also like US Retail Companies Have a Massive Bill to Pay Come 2018
Now it’s reversing and that will be a drag.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 12/12/2017.

UMich Consumer Confidence Slides In November As Faith In Stocks Falters

Having hit the highest level since Jan 2004 in October, November’s final print shows the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index fell from 100.7 to 98.5, as both hope and current conditions slipped.
Expewctations for inflation dipped. Consumers saw inflation rate in the next year at 2.5 percent after 2.4 percent the prior month. Inflation rate over next five to 10 years seen at 2.4 percent, lowest since May, after 2.5 percent in October

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.

Last Time This Happened, Part 2: Consumers Are Both Confident And Broke

Elliott Wave International recently put together a chart (click here or on the chart to watch the accompanying video) that illustrates a recurring theme of financial bubbles: When good times have gone on for a sufficiently long time, people forget that it can be any other way and start behaving as if they’re bulletproof. They stop saving, for instance, because they’ll always have their job and their stocks will always go up.
Then comes the inevitable bust.
On the following chart, this delusion and its aftermath are represented by the gap between consumer confidence (our sense of how good the next year is likely to be) and the saving rate (the portion of each paycheck we keep for a rainy day). The bigger the gap the less realistic we are and the more likely to pay dearly for our hubris.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on NOVEMBER 15, 2017.

Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Drops On Inflation, Rate-Hike Fears

UMich consumer sentiment declined from 100.7 to 97.8 in the preliminary November print, disappointing expectations of a small rise as anticipation of a pickup in inflation and higher interest rates weighed on the gauge.
Even with the decline, sentiment was the second-highest since January, reinforcing other reports that Americans remain optimistic about employment and the economy.
Other highlights include:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.

A Record Number Of Americans Are Taking Vacations: Why That Is Bad News For The Market

Having identified virtually every single asset bubble of the current cycle (as well as a few extra), SocGen’s cranky strategist Albert Edwards has found yet another place where there is irrational exuberance: vacations, and ever the optimist, Edwards has a message for Americans: enjoy it while you can, because it won’t last. In a note titled “Who needs wage inflation when even vacations have become a bubble” , the SocGen strategist observes that “more Americans plan to take a holiday in the next six months than ever before (see chart below)” and complains that there is “no wonder it was so difficult to book hotels in Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe next May!”

The problem with this latest bubble is that while a record number of Americans are taking vacations, far fewer can actually afford it when one strips away the fleeting asset bubbles created by central banks. As a result, record vacations have become only the latest indicator of consumers’ confidence in rising wage growth, which however has yet to materialize. “I know US consumer confidence has been booming on the back of a surging equity market, but cheap money has also prompted the consumer to book holidays galore.”
Which means that once the punch bowl is taken away, so will the downtime: “When the bubble bursts, households will be mighty pissed that it?s not just their wealth that evaporates in front of their eyes but their ability to vacation like never before.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.

Lending Club Crashes Near Record Lows After Slashing Guidance

Despite record high stocks, record high consumer confidence, and ‘full’ employment, LendingClub is struggling to originate high-enough quality loans – crashing almost 20% after slashing its Q4 outlook.
CEO Scott Sanborn on LendingClub’s conference call pointed to a new credit model that represents “a tightening with an overall shift to higher-quality grades and higher quality approvals within grades,” and said Equifax’s significant data breach “has put consumers on edge.”
The stock is now back near record lows…

Analysts are watching what the company will say at its Dec. 7 investor day; some cut their price targets…
MORGAN STANLEY (James Faucette)
3Q shows “credit box setback,” with origination growth hurt as LC tightens credit, re-calibrates marketing with launch of 5th gen credit model Targets expected at investor meeting will “weigh heavily”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.

Silver on Sale! Take Advantage of the Buying Opportunity

The price of silver is at extremely low levels compared to gold. That makes this a perfect time to invest in the white metal.
Indians seem to recognize this buying opportunity. According to the Economic Times, silver demand was up 15% during this Dhanteras and Diwali festival season on increased purchases of coins, idols, and silverware. Analysts attributed the surge in silver buying to lack of consumer confidence in the economy and silver’s relatively low price.
SchiffGold has the perfect way for you to take advantage of this silver buying opportunity. We have obtained a limited supply of 2013 and 2014 1-ounce Silver Britannia bullion coins minted by the British Royal Mint. These beautiful coins are ready to ship right now for as little as $1.49 over spot per coin.
This is a bullion coin at better than bullion coin price but has the upside of potentially garnering collectible value in the future. Because they have a mint privy mark on edge of the coin the 2013 has a snake on the edge and the 2014 year has a horse on the edge.

This post was published at Schiffgold on OCTOBER 24, 2017.

The Market Melt-Up Before the Top

The following is a summary of our recent Big Picture podcast, ‘The Meltup Before the Meltdown,’ which can be accessed on our site here or on iTunes here.
We’re likely near the end of this business cycle, says Financial Sense’s Jim Puplava, and normally when we come to the end, all seems well: the economy is booming, stocks are hitting records, and people are making money.
For example, think back to the stock market in 1999 and the first 3 months of 2000. The Nasdaq went vertical in a classic, melt-up euphoria as everyone piled into the sector driving the “New Economy”.
As we move closer to the top of this market, we’re more likely to see euphoria, he added. Right now, mutual funds and stocks are going up by double digits. Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, retail sales are up, and the economy is booming. All of these indicators normally occur around the end of the cycle, and we know what eventually triggers that end: a Fed rate raising cycle, which we are now in.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/23/2017.

Doug Noland: Arms Race

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Bloomberg: ‘Treasuries Surge as December Hike Odds Drop After CPI Miss.’ Year-over-year CPI was up 2.2% in September, with consumer inflation above 2% y-o-y for six of the past 10 months. The Producer Price Index gained 2.6% y-o-y in September. Yet, apparently, the focus will remain on core CPI (along with core personal consumption expenditure inflation) that, up 1.7% y-o-y, missed estimates by one tenth and remained below 2% for the sixth straight month. Notably – analytically if not in the markets – the preliminary October reading of University of Michigan Consumer Confidence jumped six points to the high since January 2004. Or taking a slightly different view, Consumer Confidence has been stronger for only one month in the past 17 years. Current Conditions rose to the highest level since November 2000.
Data notwithstanding, from Bloomberg: ‘Bond Shorts Experience the Agony of Defeat Yet Again.’ Ten-year Treasury yields declined nine bps this week to 2.27%, though I’m not sure this qualifies as a ‘defeat.’ In stark contrast to the fanatical gathering on the opposing side of the field, not a single central banker was spotted on the bond bears’ sideline.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ October 14, 2017.

UMich Consumer Confidence Slides On Loss Of ‘Hope’

University of Michigan’s headline consumer confidence index slipped lower in Septemeber (prelim) from 96.8 to 95.3 driven by a tumble in ‘expectations’ that offset a burst in ‘current conditions’ to its highest since Nov 2000!
As Bloomberg reports, the figures are the first to broadly capture the effects of Harvey and Irma, which caused more than $100 billion in damage and sparked a jump in claims for unemployment benefits. According to the survey, 9 percent of respondents spontaneously said the storms would hurt the economy. The sentiment index was unchanged among consumers who didn’t mention the storms.
Across all interviews in early September, 9% spontaneously mentioned concerns that Harvey, Irma, or both, would have a negative impact on the overall economy.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.

British People Suddenly Stopped Buying Cars

– British people suddenly stopped buying cars
– Massive debt including car loans, very low household savings
– Brexit and decline in sterling and consumer confidence impacts
– New cars being bought on PCP by people who could not normally afford them
– UK car business has ‘exactly the same problems’ as the mortgage market 10 years ago, according to Morgan Stanley
– Bank of England is investigating to make sure UK banks are not overly exposed…
– Prudent British people buying gold with cash, not cars with debt
by Jim Edwards, Business Insider UK
British people have suddenly stopped buying cars.
It’s not clear why. But a number of anti-car trends have hit Britain simultaneously – such as the rise of Uber and a decline in household savings – driving down car sales.
The chart above of total car sales both old and new, from Barclays, says it all. On this chart, the grey-black line is the crucial one. The blue line (online sales) represents only a small number of purchases. Barclays

This post was published at Gold Core on September 12, 2017.

Deflation and the Markets; are deflationary forces here to stay

Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery. Bertrand Russell
Manufacturing output continues to improve, even though the number of manufacturing jobs in the U. S. continues to decline and this trend will not stop. While some Jobs have gone overseas, the new trend suggests that automation has eliminated and will continue to eliminate a plethora of jobs. As this trend is in the early phase, the momentum will continue to build in the years to come.
Machines are faster, cheaper and don’t complain; at least not yet. So from a cost cutting and efficiency perspective, there is no reason to stick with humans. This, in turn, will continue to fuel the wage deflation trend. Sal Guatieri an Economist at the Bank of Montreal in a report titled ‘Wage Against the Machine,’ states that automation is responsible for weak wage growth.
‘It’s unlikely that insecurities from the Great Recession are still weighing, given high levels of consumer confidence,’ he wrote. ‘However, automation could be a longer-lasting influence on worker anxieties and wages. If so, wages could remain low for a while, restraining inflation and interest rates.’
Guatieri goes on to state that ‘The defining feature of a job at risk from automation is repetition’. This puts a lot of jobs at risk, many of which fall under the so-called highly skilled category today; for example, Accountants, Lawyers, Radiologists, X-Ray technician, etc.
North American business order record number of robots
In 2016, they order 35,000 robots, 10% more than in 2015. But that is nothing compared to China, which ordered 69,000 robots in 2016, South Korea ordered 38,000 and Japan for its small size ordered 35,000 robots. This proves that jobs are not going overseas but are being taken over by machines. Nothing will stop this trend; a trend in motion is unstoppable.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 8 September 2017.

Indicators Are All Over The Place Warning That The Economy Is About To Implode – Episode 1344a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 30, 2017
UMich consumer confidence implodes and it is the lowest since before the elections. Another indicator that we are in a recession, Americans are saving the least amount of money and this is a sign that we saw leading up to the last two recessions. The US government is working their magic they are going back and revising the GDP data. BofA is warning that the market is cracking and falling apart. The sales of RV’s is booming, this indicator occurred during the last couple of recessions.