The Consumer Is Broke: “Restaurant Sales Worst Since July”

At -1.3 percent, disappointing restaurant sales growth in November was the ninth consecutive month of negative same-store sales; and the worst sales growth since July…Same-store sales for third and fourth quarters, at the end of November, are both -1.1 percent.Black Box Intelligence

That’s the restaurant industry.  Here’s a retail sales report from Dollar General, which would represent about 40-50% income and spending demographic:

Interestingly, we talk to our consumers each and every quarter through panel data as well as we bring them in and talk to them in general and I can tell you as late as mid third quarter, they were telling us that their sentiment – feeling – is even more dire than it was in previous quarters in early 2016  – Dollar General CEO in response to an analyst question on the quarterly earnings conference call.

Granted, DG’s core customer is low-income. However, as more Americans slide into the “low income” segment, it will affect overall retail sales, especially with regard to disposable income. My point here is that, despite the sense of “hope” signaled by the “Trump rally,” in general the average American is not feeling optimistic about the economy and I believe this will translate into a poor holiday season for both retailers and the overall economy. – Short Seller’s Journal, Dec 4 issue

Retail sales this holiday season are going to be abysmal.  Everyone with whom I’ve chatted who’s been out holiday shopping – I mean everyone – has commented on how eerily quiet the stores are this year.

The Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation will issue phony sales reports that will be contradicted by the actual sales reports from and guidance from retailers.  This report written by NY Post editor, John Crudele, outlines the methodology by which the Census Bureau manipulates the monthly retail sales reports:

Halfway down the page is a listing for Health and Personal Care Stores. It had a 7.6 percent increase in October. But underneath that calculation, there are no data, only an asterisk. That’s explained in the footnote to mean “advance estimates are not available for this kind of business.”

So how did Census determine that there was a 7.6 percent increase in Health and Personal Care Stores when the only category listed doesn’t provide data? “Furniture and home furnishing stores” also had a 3.4 percent sales increase. But, again, Census came up with a calculation despite no data.  – John Crudele on October retail sales report

If you pull up the actual retail sales report issued by the Census Bureau, you’ll see that several categories are “asterisked,” meaning the CB imputed its own estimate for October retails sales for that category.  In other words, about half the reported headline number is made up.

Restoration Hardware’s earnings report yesterday is an example.  The stock is down 18% after missing Wall Street’s earnings estimates – badly – and issuing dismal guidance on holiday sales and its outlook for 2017.

The point here is that the average household real disposable income is declining. As such, the average consumer is choking on debt, Obamacare premium increases, and the spiraling cost of everyday living – especially those households with children.

Despite a stock market that is going parabolic and in the final stages of a blow-off top, several of my stock picks in the weekly Short Seller’s Journal have provided profitable trades since August (some have not, to be fair).   One retailer in particular dropped 20% after I presented it in August and is now back up to the price at which I recommended shorting it.  I will be discussing this stock as a great short idea in this week’s issue.  You can access the SSJ using this link:  Short Seller’s Journal.

Payment terms are monthly and you can cancel at any time.  The SSJ issues are weekly and delve in-depth into economic data and analysis that you will not necessarily find on in the mainstream or alternative media.

6 thoughts on “The Consumer Is Broke: “Restaurant Sales Worst Since July”

  1. “The point here is that the average household real disposable income is declining. As such, the average consumer is choking on debt, Obamacare premium increases……….”

    Let’s not forget that not only are health insurance premiums increasing [whether through an employer, an individual policy, or Obamacare “exchange”], but also deductibles have gone up. $2,000+ is common, eliminating lower cost health care coverage [like a primary care provider] until that deductible has been met.

  2. Eric Dubin now reports that Facebook is preventing link(s) from his site to be posted & has put him in a “Fake News” bin. I think the same is likely to happen to this website, either on Facebook or twitter or both. Maybe youtube account censorship next? Things are unraveling at a frightening pace.

    1. I stopped posting links to FB a year ago because for 7 years I shared links from here, Zerohedge, Jesse’s, etc and rarely got more than a few “likes” ~ I figure by now whoever resonates with our way of thinking has already got ’em bookmarked so what’s the point in trying to enlighten the majority.

  3. Do you like to tell the truth, as things really are?

    Are you opposed to (even the possibility) of World War III?

    Do you want peace?

    Ahh, so you must be a Russian FSB agent then! Hopefully Vladimir Putin keeps sending that paycheck in a timely manner.

    Wonder if the Russian Government needs to issue a W-2 statement for the “Russian agents” on their payroll.

  4. Glenn Greenwald reports that an outright, hostile war has broken out between the CIA & FBI (or at least between dominant factions of both orgs). This has everything to do with the “Russian hack” “fake news” brouhaha.

    Lame Duck MonsantObama seems to be in a situation even more dangerous than incompetent COWARD James Buchanan was in, with President Elect Abraham Lincoln sitting in Springfield, Illinois. Like he has done for the past 8 years, he’s doing whatever CIA is asking him to do, with a gun held to his head. Which way things are going to unravel for the next week (when Electoral Collage votes) & next six weeks (by inauguration day) is anybody’s guess. I don’t even want to think about which way the convoluted financial markets will roll over this period. They have devolved into a state beyond any level of comprehension, by my layman standards.

    Donald Trump is/was definitely not the solution this country needed to get out of its hole. The question seems to be: Whether we’ll continue to stay in this hole, or is CIA planning to blow it all up?

    Leon Trotsky was the scumbag, who was architect of “Permanent Revolution”, basically intentionally maintaining society in a state of perpetual chaos. CIA is definitely dominated by EVIL Trotskyite SCUMBAGS. Here are names of various personalities with slightly different shades of ideologies, but in basic essence are/were “Permanent Revolution” scum of the earth:

    Leon Trotsky
    Saul Alinsky
    George Soros

    Henry Kissinger

    Cecil Rhodes
    Leo Strauss
    Irving Kristol

    with varying shades of living Trotskyite disciples like Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland & many other similar names too numerous to mention. CIA doctrine is dominated by Trotskyite philosophy of these people, the CANCEROUS TUMOR of these scum we simply don’t seem to be able to uproot & get rid of, once & for all.

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