Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Today's spin on Retail Sales and other economic indicators

That's right, there was a big spin job played on the simple minded this morning on the release of the Retail Sales numbers. Here are the headlines form on the matter:

"Retail Sales in U.S. Rose in March for Ninth Straight Month.
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in March for a ninth consecutive month, showing the improving job market is helping Americans cope with higher costs for fuel and food."

The actual data is this. Retail Sales reported back for February rose 1.1% but March's data came in at a gain of 0.4%. Expectations were for a gain of 0.6% for March. So it is less than half of last month's gain, isn't it. The way the number was reported in Bloomberg encourages the those trading the stock market to look for gains today, which Futures now suggest.

Another piece of data released which you will be hard pressed to see printed anywhere is the MBA Mortgage Index. The data came in at -2.0% in the prior period and today, for the week of 4/8 it came in at -6.7%. This index measures the Mortgage Applications during the period. You would think with Spring here that the numbers would be positive and rising as many look at buying homes in the Spring. But the number is very negative. Here's a news clip on this number which I did find in the Providence Business News web site:

"Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell for a third consecutive week as rising borrowing costs limited home buying and refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index decreased 6.7 percent in the week ended April 8 to lowest level in two months, the Washington-based group reported on Wednesday . The group’s gauge of purchases declined 4.7 percent, while its refinancing index plunged 7.7 percent.

Homeowners seeking to refinance loans to reduce monthly payments are getting discouraged by 30-year mortgage rates that have risen for four straight weeks. Sales remain depressed while foreclosures mount, making it more likely property prices will continue to fall and weigh on consumer spending and economic growth."

So that is what's going on in the Housing Market. That isn't good for the economy and is sure to have an impact on the Consumer. So the spin is to get you to think everything is honkey dory. It isn't! Wake up from the delusion.

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Blogger Scott R said...

Morning Charles, I believe we still have not hit bottom yet, too many numbers are not taken into account such as true inflation, think of what the number would be if food and fuel were included? Also we are loosing money every day out of the economy in the form of our interest on the debt and this will only get worse when more countries drop the dollar as a reserve currency. Being a fiat currency it is doomed to fail anyway. My 2 cents.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Charles Amico said...

Good morning Scott. I find myself in total agreement with your comment this morning. And most folks aren't paying attention to this or have stopped listening to the so called news these days. It's depressing, Scott. Have a good day in spite of everything else. I am going to have a good day in spite of it too.

8:22 AM  

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