Friday, April 17, 2015

Precision thinking + relevant data = Gary Shilling:

"Since the U.S. began collecting data in 1967, only twice has it seen three-month stretches of waning retail sales in non-recessionary times..."

"One explanation for consumer hesitancy came in March’s payrolls report, which showed that employers created an anemic 126,000 jobs. The preceding 11-month average had been a much higher 284,000 new jobs. Most of them, however, are in low-paying sectors such as retail trade and leisure & hospitality, rather than high-paying manufacturing, utilities and information technology. Also, recent layoffs in the energy sector are of mostlywell-compensated workers..."

"Those who thought consumers would immediately spend their energy savings apparently didn’t know that the household savings rate spiked after the tax cuts and rebates in the 2008 and 2009 stimulus measures. Households only later spent some of their windfalls. That’s true today, too: The household savings rate jumped from 4.5 percent in November to 5.8 percent in February..."

".History shows that when times are tough, U.S. consumers increase, rather than decrease, their savings. Plummeting energy prices are providing the extra wherewithal. Investors who anticipated purchasing-power gains would lead to greater consumer spending must be sadly disappointed..."


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