Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Consumer is Back! (but really not..)

~ Ah, Children.. they learn so young...  OOh.. Barney the Dinosaur!!

When it comes to the US economy, the media are pretty much All liars.  They want you to believe "recovery" so badly they will beat you over the head with incessant pollyanna headlines and distorted statistics until you fully comply with your 'masters' and accept it or get migraines fighting...

And even when you find honest reporting, there's always empty optimism to keep the reader from wanting to go hari-kari (also known as seppuku), or even Worse-- to stop reading/watching and stop looking at the ads.

So anyways, just curious-- how did the US consumer fare in December?

Well, Bloomberg today said:

Consumer Comfort Highest in Six Months -- "Consumer confidence in the U.S. last week reached the highest level since July as the improving job market helped allay pessimism... Less unemployment and growing payrolls may be lifting consumers' moods, providing the spark for increases in consumer spending"

Yayyy!  Whooo-Hoo!!   Let's celebrate and Shop n' Spend!!
Hmm, wait.. What did CNN/Money report today?

Shoppers Pulled Back At Holidays -- "Consumers pulled back on their spending in December despite the holiday shopping season... The Commerce Department report showed that overall retail sales rose only 0.1% compared to November...  stagnant wages are not keeping up with prices overall, and rising credit card balances, (so) there's a limit in how much consumers will be able to spend"

Jeepers!  What to believe?  Who to trust?

Hmm, OK Reuters-- tell me what or who to believe...

Retail sales weak, jobless claims up last week -- " Retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven months in December and first-time claims for jobless benefits moved higher last week, signs the economic recovery remains shaky"

That seems abnormally honest and completely destroys Bloomberg's arguments.

OK now I am seriously bummed out.  Certainly there has to be a pollyanna nugget somewhere? I do so much hate reading depressing things...  Just ruins my bridge game
"Within the retail report, the upward revision for November sales suggests consumers frontloaded their holiday shopping as retailers discounted heavily and extended store hours in the days following Thanksgiving." - Reuters

Whewww..  OK, good.  So THAT'S why December retail sales were so poor-- everyone spent all their money in November.  I was beginning to fear it was because the nation was entering year 4 of a depression with no end...

Now I can relax... and go shopping...

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