Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Who ya gonna believe?

"Oh the irony - as bulls celebrate the best jump in retail sales since 2016, the scene for retailer stocks is an utter bloodbath... 

Earlier today, US Retail Sales in July rebounded dramatically to a 0.6% MoM gain - the most since Dec 2016 - driven a surge in motor vehicles (record incentives) and department stores (more inventives?). Year-over-year saw upward revisions and a rebound to a 4.2% rise in July. 

The last two month's declines in Retail Sales have been revised away magically and we have now gone 5 months without a decline..."

While Zero Hedge focuses on brands that no one cares about like JCpenny, the real economy is happening behind the scenes in places that people who only write about the economy but don't really participate in any meaningful way will see.

For instance - positive equity is an extremely powerful thing. Very few people are underwater in their houses at this time. So they feel safer to do some work on them. You don't throw a ton of money into a house that is underwater. Now that most people are not underwater....let the remodeling begin seems to be the mantra. They have a lot of time to make up.

I've been trying to get a project done all summer. And it's just about like pulling teeth. You literally can't get a contractor for months. To prepare for my project I started going to tile stores about four months ago. Only to roll up at 9:00 in the morning to a packed parking lot. Two weeks ago I was in a tile store and the place was again packed. All of these people had a designer in tow. I could not believe it.

This is a trend I've found out is about a year old, so it doesn't surprise me that retail has been revised up for previous months. That could actually be real.

People might not be spending at malls ( oh wait - I was at a mall this weekend and it was so packed it almost made my head explode). Gone are all the discount signs. I didn't see any evidence of a mallpocolypse. Although I didn't set foot in a JCpenny because I haven't shopped at that place since I was a kid. Maybe people just don't like stale brands like JCpenny. Let theme die already so they will stop taking up space and bloggers will stop bitching about them. No one shops there for like 20 years. It's why they almost died about 5 years ago. No one cares except bloggers.

I think focusing on these dinosaur brands makes writers not see the real things that are happening in the economy. You have to BE IN the economy to know what is happening with it. And I can assure you - people are spending money like they haven't in a very long time.

I think that number could be real. Even with the crazy carpocolypse stories dragging down the numbers. I think retail might have come in hotter. Really. Just go outside and try shopping somewhere. ANYWHERE!

I WISH it all were not true- because I have a project I need get completed by winter and I'm having a fuck all time of it. I have never seen things like this.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, August 15, 2017 9:58:00 PM

    "... brands that no one cares about like JCPenney ..."

    Says you -- I max the crap out of JCPenney for socks. :-)

  2. Oh. So you are the ~one~ person who still shops there. I always wondered who it was. ;) Good talk.

    You know amazon ships socks right to your door.

  3. "Hey, y'all gonna dim the lights when I walk out after I buy some socks?"

    No more Amazon here.

    Ordered chip heatsink compound, got sex lube.

    Tried it anyway.

    Was not up to thermal specifications.

    We are no longer together. :-)

  4. Frankly, I think you got off lucky. It would have been worse if you ordered sex lube and wound up with heat sink compound. That shit will glue your bits together.

  5. "What's that groaning sound?"

    "That's all of the non-engineers reacting to the puns."


  6. Oh, I'm not an engineer. I'm a drop-out. I've talked about it on the blog a couple of times. I got a good enough diploma. Every once in a while one of us manages to sneak through in tech. But you half to work twice as hard as the people with degrees. I didn't go to college. But I have worked in engineering departments.

    There are actually quite a few really smart techie drop outs like jaron lanier (the grandfather of VR and AR) who helped me get through. Not personally but mentally. He was sort of my tech idol until I saw him at a conference about five years ago. Don't meet your idols. He went back to work at Berkeley so I don't know if he's still considered a drop out since he went back later in life.