As I suggested would occur, the Census Bureau used its statistical voo doo in order to produce a headline report which announced a .2% increase in retail sales for November vs. October. The number still missed the Wall Street brain trust consensus forecast of .3%. If you care to engage in the useless endeavor of looking at the line items in the report, here’s the link: November Retail Sales
How do we know that retail sales in November were likely much worse than the report spoon-fed to the media/public by the Government? Because retailers cut back their hiring in November vs. November 2014 by at least 5%: November Retail Hiring Falls. If retailers were experiencing steady to increasing sales in November, retail seasonal hiring would have at least been flat.
Aside from the mystery surrounding the “seasonal adjustment” calculations, the .2% gain was engineered by revising October’s number down to $447.1 billion from the $447.3 billion originally reported. The subtle maneuver enabled the Government to report a .2% gain instead of a .1% gain. After all, it would be a catastrophe for “Black Friday” Month to show no gain from or a decline from October, which is likely what occurred.
The junk-loan financed auto boom is petering out, Obamacare premiums are hitting the mailboxes, the cost of everything needed to get by everyday (except gasoline) is rising. Consumers have little to no disposable income for holiday gift spending. I suspect most households will be cutting way back on all gift-giving other than “mandatory” gifts – kids, immediate family members, etc. This holiday season will be a disaster in terms of retail spending.
My new subscription research service, SHORT SELLER’S JOURNAL, will be focusing on retail stock short ideas over the next 4-6 weeks. I’m prepping for next week’s issue, which will be sent out either Sunday evening or Monday morning. I will likely be including a brief mining stock buy/trade recommendation in addition to stock I’ve selected to feature.
If you subscribe before Sunday evening, you’ll be able to access the current issue plus next week’s issue. Subscriber’s will get a discount on the big Kinder Morgan research I’m working on. Every day I unearth new, highly negative information on KMI.