Friday, December 11, 2009

Retail Sales exceed forecast!

Greetings good citizen,

The week ends here! In another couple of weeks, 2009 will be behind us as well. Dunno how much longer it will last but today was the first day local temps didn’t break the freezing mark. I’m sure it was warmer in Boston today but it’s always warmer in the city…and if you’re not in the city proper, the temperature can drop considerably the further you get from downtown.

That said, the curious creature known as the Stock Market tacked on 65 points today…but the Nasdaq fell, throwing today’s session into the ‘mixed’ category.

What do you suppose was the cause for today’s upswing in the markets?

Honestly good citizen, regurgitating these ‘heavily shaded’ er, ‘pep talks’ that contain more fiction than fact serves no public benefit whatsoever.

So we arrive at tonight’s first offering

U.S. Retail Sales Exceed Forecasts

By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ [And look who’s back! ( fake Good news and they’re all over it!)]
Published: December 11, 2009

A strong start to the holiday shopping season helped push retail sales up nearly twice as much as expected in November, the government said Friday, signaling that consumers may be opening their wallets even in the face of a grim job market. [Shoppers learned last year that waiting until the last minute gained them nothing…the price is the price and if you don’t pay the price, you ain’t getting the sum bitch!]

Across the board, from personal health stores to electronics boutiques, sales were up last month, rising 1.3 percent over all from October, seasonally adjusted. Excluding cars and gasoline sales, which can be volatile, the jump was 0.6 percent, three times as high as economists had predicted. [If only prices were ‘static’…but they aren’t. left unanswered is ‘the value of a dollar’ which we all know has sunk like a rock…so it takes more money to buy the same or even a smaller basket of goods. But you’re not supposed to ‘notice’ such things.]

Friday’s figures brought relief to many business owners, who had feared consumers would rein in spending this year as unemployment crept to double digits and the economy showed signs of a nonexistent weak recovery. The data reinforced hints of a turning tide in consumer spending over the last few months, economists said, and suggested that sales might continue a steady march upward. The retail sales figure reflected a 1.9 percent increase from November 2008, when the chill in consumer spending had begun to take hold. [Bizarrely, we now have the BLS to thank for the ‘reliability’ of government reports…and the data shakier than the employment numbers have been the inflation figures. Just because the BEA ‘says’ inflation is ‘nonexistent’ doesn’t mean it’s true. Hell, why has the stock market been rising? Because the dollar has been sinking! Wake the fuck up!]

A separate gauge of consumer confidence released Friday fueled hopes of a turnaround in consumer behavior. The University of Michigan’s monthly barometer rose to 73.4, up 6 points, far outpacing expectations. [Lying fucks! Any reading below 90 in consumer sentiment is negative so picking up 6 points doesn’t mean shit!]

“The momentum here is positive,” said James F. O’Sullivan, chief economist for MF Global. [Makes you wonder what ‘MF’ stands for. Hey, yesterday we had a financial firm named after the pet name for a penis! So this could be just what it looks like…] “We’re seeing that better spending leads to a better job market which leads to better spending, in stark contrast to the downward spiral we were seeing a year ago.” [Stark contrast, eh? A goodly chunk of those 8 million jobs we lost over the last year are never coming back, so what are the odds that Chumley here is full of what makes the grass grow green?]

The picture of consumer spending in 2008 was far dimmer: sales took a steep plunge toward the end of the year, dipping below $340 billion, as the nerves of the financial crisis came to the fore. While sales reached $352.1 billion last month, the economy still has much ground to regain: spending was as high as $380 billion in 2007. [And the ‘good times’ peaked in 2006. Considering the crisis began in the Summer of 2007, using 2007 figures is more than somewhat misleading! GDP in the fourth quarter of 2007 was .6%, just to give you an idea of what they are trying to compare today’s figures to…]

Spending by consumers makes up more than two-thirds of the American economy, and some economists believe true recovery will not come until sales return to high levels. That may be difficult in a country where at least 98 million working aged citizens 15.4 million people remain unemployed, many of them for more than six years months, and where many families are struggling with meager paychecks and reduced hours.

“The difficulties in the labor market, the desire to reduce and the tightening of lending standards of all kinds should serve to cap the pace at which spending will rebound in 2010,” Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak, wrote in a research note Friday. [Understand that ‘capping the pace’ will also ‘choke off’ the largely imaginary recovery.]

Sales of cars and gasoline led the strong gains over all, though sales were up for goods of all types — food, electronics, garden supplies, sporting goods. Cars and car parts rose 1.6 percent, even in the absence of government incentives like the cash-for-clunkers program, and gasoline sales increased 6 percent, pushed up by rising prices. Mail and Internet orders rose 1.2 percent, while clothing sales declined by 0.7 percent. [So the ‘cost of living’ seems to account for most of the rise in spending…how can any rational observer call that an ‘economic recovery’?]

Retailers generally reported a weak sales day on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. Analysts have said consumers are focused on finding rock-bottom prices this year and prefer discount stores to high-end retailers. [And retailers know they won’t get away with jerking people around on price…you can only ‘drop your drawers’ so much before the consumer starts to get suspicious…if the price drops 100% and you’re still in business—sort of tells the whole story, doesn’t it?]

Online retailers, electronics stores, jewelry stores and appliance stores all showed gains compared with last year, according to data released earlier this month. [This is rich! There’s no way to verify this activity…I’m home all day and I don’t see more delivery vehicles than usual.]

In its report, the government revised its data on October sales, saying sales increased by 1.1 percent rather than the 1.4 percent originally reported. The government adjusts its retail sales numbers to discount the boom from holiday shopping, but economists said strong sales still played a role. [Excuse me, the sales dropped from the original number but the morons are still claiming sales are ‘robust’. The last time we this kind of ‘robust’ economy, GW Bush was still in office and everything was going down the shitter (although he claimed otherwise!)]

In a separate report, there were signs that vast stimulus efforts worldwide are causing increases in prices. The price of United States imports rose 1.7 percent in November, the fourth consecutive month of increases, largely because of rising fuel prices. [Oh no, it’s not rising prices causing sales figures to spike, it’s consumers opening their dust filled wallets! The lying bunch of weasels…and I shouldn’t say that because it’s not fair to the weasels!]

Still, the Federal Reserve has said that inflationary pressures remain in check and that it does not expect inflation to emerge as a threat to economic stability, even as interest rates remain close to zero.

How much of the above article was absolute bullshit? Try All of it!

Oh, things are getting better, the economy is recovering, everything’s going to be just fine! (if you’re already rich!)

Well good citizen, the one thing they can’t fudge is the subject of tonight’s second offering

[Purloined from Some Assembly Required]

Collapse In Tax Withholdings Refutes Improvements In Either Unemployment Or Corporate Profitability

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2009 12:40 -0500

Even as the BLS and the administration are trying to cover up the real state of unemployment affairs; using assorted semantic gimmicks of just what it means to be unemployed. As companies provide adjusted EPS numbers, while actual earnings continue to collapse, the true barometer of spending, provided by the Financial Management Service, tax withholdings (net of refunds), continues to paint the truest picture of just what is really happening with both America's consumer and the corporate world.

And it ain't pretty. On a rolling 12 month basis, individual tax withheld has dropped by nearly 8% YoY, from $1.42 trillion to $1.31 trillion, while company with holdings are down a whalloping 64%, from $274 billion to just under $100 billion! This is money that will never be used to pay down the skyrocketing US deficit, because both the US consumer and average US company are simply not collecting the required cash to line the Treasury's pockets with the one traditional way to pad the deficit: taxes. Expect much, much, much more debt issuance in America's short, medium and long-term future.

So there it is good citizen, pages of bullshit shot down by a couple of paragraphs of fact. If they ain’t collecting the taxes then the ‘recovery’ doesn’t exist, period.

Tomorrow’s offering will provide more proof (as if you needed any.)

Um, time to share another ‘observation’ with you. Seems as though it is no longer ‘a few skeptical individuals’ that are, er, ‘dissatisfied’ with the Obama administration’s performance.

Of all of the times for a president to sell out, this wasn’t one of them…the pain that is to come will be unimaginable, likewise the devastation will be incredible.

It’s one thing to suspect your electoral process is compromised and another to know. The public no longer has any faith in the process or the system that process produces. Since the public is convinced it cannot expect justice from a corrupt system, it will do its utmost to undermine that system and everyone who serves it.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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