While I dealt with this subject in some detail already in today's edition of The Grind, it's such an important economic development that I felt it necessary to duplicate my work and produce a separate report on this in our "Economics" section.
In the U.S. consumer economy, "consumption" directly/indirectly accounts for nearly 90% of U.S. GDP. So with U.S. retail sales now PLUMMETING downward at a rate in excess of 12% per year (adjusted for inflation), we see the U.S. economy heading for a crash TWICE AS BAD as the Crash of '08...and that's if the rate of collapse does NOT worsen further.
These are Depression numbers, in unequivocal. The fact that the so-called experts were "predicting" a collapse this large, but STILL pretend the U.S. is "recovering" is yet another example of the complete lack of honesty and/or competence among these charlatan-economists.
As I also noted in The Grind, the collapse in retail sales is accompanied by an even WORSE COLLAPSE in U.S. "durable goods" orders - the basis of its manufacturing. Thus we have retail sales and manufacturing, which the propaganda machine claims was producing ALL of the "growth" and "jobs" now PLUMMETING downward.
Crash or print. And EITHER WAY, bullion prices will be launched higher as a result...
"Retail Sales in U.S. Declined for Second Month in May"
Retail sales in the U.S. fell in May for a second month as slower employment and subdued wage gains damped demand, a sign the world’s largest economy is cooling.
The 0.2 percent decrease followed a similar decline in April that was previously reported as a gain, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Last month’s drop matched the median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales excluding automobiles slumped by the most in two years.
Limited gains in payrolls and unemployment exceeding 8 percent signal it’ll be tough for consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, to accelerate from a first-quarter advance that was the biggest in a year. At the same time, lower prices at the gasoline pump are providing relief for Americans, helping sustain sales at retailers like Target Corp. (TGT)
“The consumer is pulling back,” said Michael Brown, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, who correctly forecast the drop in sales. “There isn’t a lot of job creation. We will continue to see softer numbers.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.3 percent to 1,320.02 at 10:10 a.m. in New York. Treasuries rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 1.65 percent from 1.67 percent late yesterday.
Other reports today showed wholesale prices dropped in May by the most since July 2009, led by energy and food, and companies boosted inventories in April.
The producer price index declined 1 percent, more than forecast, after falling 0.2 percent the prior month, Labor Department figures showed. Stockpiles expanded 0.4 percent following a 0.3 percent gain in March, according to a Commerce Department report.
Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey for retail sales ranged from a drop of 0.7 percent to a gain of 0.5 percent. April’s reading was revised from a 0.1 percent increase.
Eight of 13 major categories showed declines last month, led by building materials retailers, service stations and general merchandise stores.
Sales at automobile dealers showed an unexpected gain, in contrast to industry figures, which are the ones used to calculate gross domestic product. They climbed 0.8 percent in May after a 0.1 percent increase the prior month.
Cars and light trucks sold at a 13.7 million annual rate in May, the weakest this year and down from April’s 14.4 million pace, Ward’s Automotive Group data showed. Year-over-year gains of 11 percent at General Motors Co. (GM) and 30 percent at Chrysler Group LLC trailed analysts’ projections. Ford Motor Co. (F), the only major automaker who topped estimates with a 13 percent increase in sales, boosted incentives by about $100 per vehicle.
Retail sales excluding autos decreased 0.4 percent, the weakest performance since May 2010, today’s report showed. They were projected to be unchanged, the survey median showed.
The retail sales data, which aren’t adjusted for prices, reflected cheaper gasoline receipts at service stations, where receipts dropped 2.2 percent in May, the most this year.
A gallon of regular fuel at the pump cost an average $3.71 in May, down from this year’s peak of $3.94 on April 4, according to AAA, the biggest U.S. auto group. It was down to $3.54 yesterday.
Spending increased 0.9 percent at clothing stores and 0.8 percent at electronics chains.
Less expensive gasoline may have helped free up cash for purchases of other items like clothing and home goods, company reports indicated. May same-store sales climbed more than analysts projected for Target, the second-largest U.S. discount chain, and Limited Brands Inc., the operator of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie stores.
Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, which are the figures used to calculate gross domestic product, sales were little changed in May after rising 0.1 percent, today’s report showed. The April advance was previously reported at 0.4 percent.
Monthly employment gains have decelerated from a high this year of 275,000 in January. Payrolls rose 69,000 in May after a 77,000 increase in April, according to data from the Labor Department. The jobless rate climbed to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 1.7 percent last month from May 2011, the smallest increase since December 2010.
Atlanta-based Home Depot Inc. (HD), the largest U.S. home- improvement retailer, is among companies projecting joblessness will remain stubbornly high.
“We will still face higher-than-normal unemployment and underemployment rates, with the consequence that value will remain of major importance to our customers,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake said on an analyst conference on June 6. “Growth will be moderate.”
At the same time, the drop in fuel costs is helping to shore up Americans’ finances and improve the buying climate, lifting confidence. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index to rise for the third consecutive week, figures showed on June 7.
Today’s report, including the downward revisions to prior months, may prompt some economists to trim forecasts. Household purchases will grow at 2.3 percent annual rates in each of the final three quarters of 2012, according to the median estimate in a separate Bloomberg survey of economists taken from June 1 to June 5. Consumer spending expanded at a 2.7 percent pace last quarter.
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