Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser and Greece

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cat233's picture
cat233
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Posts: 575
Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser and Greece

Advance December retail sales declined 2.7%, which is worse than the 1.2%
decline that was widely anticipated. The decline reflects further deterioration
after retail sales fell 2.1% the month before. Retail sales less autos declined
3.1%. They were expected to decline 1.4% after falling 2.5% the month before.
Separately, the December Import Price Index declined 4.2% month-over-month, and
9.3% year-over-year. Import prices were expected to decline 5.3% and 9.5%,
respectively. November import prices were revised lower to reflect a 7.0%
month-over-month decline, and a 5.4% year-over-year decline. 

... and, oh my gosh!!! HELLO!!!!

Fed's Plosser says US 2009 GDP likely to be under 2%... Housing will stabilize in 2009; financial markets will stabilize in 2009.

... and as mentioned in Chris' Jan 9 podcast, Greece

S&P lowers Greece ratings to 'A-/A-2; outlook stable

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it had lowered its 'A/A-1' sovereign
credit ratings on Hellenic Republic (Greece) to 'A-/A-2'. The outlook is stable.
With these actions, Standard & Poor's removed the ratings from CreditWatch
negative, where they were placed on Jan. 9, 2009. "While the ratings on the
sovereign continue to be based on our opinion of the Republic's relatively high
economic prosperity and EMU membership, the ongoing global financial and
economic crisis has, in our opinion, exacerbated an underlying loss of
competitiveness in the Greek economy," Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Marko Mrsnik said. From 2002-2007, a strong growth performance was accompanied
by a worsening of large structural imbalances, mirrored in persistent inflation
differentials within the Euro-area, rising unit labor costs, and a large and
growing current account deficit, estimated at above 14% of GDP in 2008. In
S&P's opinion, the ongoing slowdown in credit growth will likely lead to a
deceleration in domestic demand, thus increasing the risk of a recession and a
possibly protracted adjustment
... "The stable outlook reflects our
expectation that following the ongoing increase in public debt, it will be
stabilized at a higher level of around 100% of GDP, amid the sharp slowdown in
growth and its subdued trend over the medium term," Mr. Mrsnik said. "Continuous
weakening of public finances and consequent further increases in general
government debt beyond our current expectations could bring the ratings under
renewed downward pressure."

All sources, Briefing.com 

 

dchrys's picture
dchrys
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Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

S&P lowers Greece ratings to 'A-/A-2; outlook stable - so what ?

 As a Greek, I have something to say about all these folks in S&P, Citigroup and other oranizations that decide about credit ratings for countries: can you really trust them after all the "success" they had in risk assesment of US domestic loans and investments ?

 Greece is not like GM, McDonalds and Wallmart; we have sacrificed a lot during the last two decades to enter the Eurozone and, despite all the disappointment people faced, I know we can handle more. 

During the last 60 years or so, Greece survived through:

- A world war, with 4 years of German occupation and rampaging hyperinflation

- A horrible civil war right after WWII (1945-1949)

- A military dictatorship 1967-1974

- Low standards of living and a lot of sacrifice after 1974, to catch-up with the rest of "developed" countries.

 You can search Wikipedia for any more details on Greece if you wish.

 Yes, the national debt is a serious issue and we may be called again to sacrifice more. This is not news to any greek adult. If the foreign investors will not buy our Treasury bonds, it is very likely that Greeks will do so, with their last of our savings (we did so in 1993 or 94 as I remember)

 CNN and other media are very eager to report recent riots as an alarming issue. But this exactly what I like about the youth of Greece: they will not take any more bullsh*t from the goverment or any other that will compromise their future.

 

 -=dchrys=-

 

PS: If you think about it, everything about economy, politics and society through the ages happened to Greece first -  democracy, tyranny, rise and fall of city-states. It's all greek to me.

 

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Posts: 2606
Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

So if retail sales is another indicator, can we expect further contraction in GDP?

 In light of the Debt-GDP article do we get double-whammied?  Back in '29 the Debt-GDP ratio rose as GDP evaporated.  Now we have runaway spending/printing, horrendous fiscal responsibility and discipline from the corporate to the individual level and our debt is ballooning.  Debt growing and GDP falling....

Any thoughts on the dynamic effects of a growing numerator and a shrinking denominator - or does it become a completely different metric and indicator?  Seems to me like the people here on Chris' sitrte already know the answer and none of us like it.

cat233's picture
cat233
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Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

dchrys,

This is in reference to a question that Chris answered on his Jan 9 podcast, discussing fiat currencies... What will happen if the USD falls and fiat currencies in general.  It is not an attack on Greece the country, it is discussing currency.  The US will someday have its credit rating lowered.  

Cat

cat233's picture
cat233
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Posts: 575
Fed's Beige Book...more economic news

Summary of Commentary on
Current Economic Conditions
by Federal Reserve
District

Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per
year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current
economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch
directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts,
and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and
sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a
designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

source, The Fed

Jan 14 Summery

Overall economic activity continued to weaken across almost all of the Federal
Reserve Districts since the previous reporting period. Most Districts noted
reduced or low activity across a wide range of industries, although a few
Districts noted some exceptions in some sectors... District reports indicate
that retail sales were generally weak, particularly during the holiday
season. A majority of Districts noted deep discounting during the holiday sales
season. Reports of retail sales during the holiday season were generally
negative in most Districts. Retail sales during the holiday season were weak or
mostly down in the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis,
Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. However, some
contacts in the Boston and New York Districts noted that sales picked up
lendafter the holidays... Vehicle sales were also weak or down overall in the
Districts reporting on them. Manufacturing activity decreased in most
Districts
. Most Districts reported a general weakening of labor market
conditions. Most Districts reported that layoffs continued.
Wage pressures
remained largely contained, and some Districts reported pay freezes or
reductions in compensation... Lower energy prices were noted in many of the
Districts, and, except for the Richmond District, which mentioned higher prices
for raw materials, most reporting Districts noted declining input prices.
Activity in the energy sector declined in several Districts since the previous
report, with a number of Districts linking the decrease to lower energy
prices.... Manufacturing activity continued to fall in most Districts since the
previous report, with declines reported across a wide range of industries...
Residential real estate activity continued to weaken in nearly all Districts.
Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City, and
Dallas reported that home sales were weak or had declined. Reporting Districts
generally saw a decrease in homebuilding. Commercial real estate markets
deteriorated in most Districts. Reports about commercial construction activity
also were downbeat... Most Districts that reported on lending activity
indicated that it continued to decline or remained weak, and many Districts
reported that credit conditions remained tight or tightened further.

source, Briefing.com

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Fed's Beige Book...more economic news

cat233 wrote/quoted:

"Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis."

 

So the Fed compiles and disseminates the information they decide they want us to hear - which establishes a public mind set and sentiment that can and does drive markets??????  Market experts - if there truly were 'market experts' would we be in this mess?  More like market seers and guessers if you ask me.  And the oh so ominous and non-attributable "other sources" boogeyman.  What if the Beige Book published things like "Pay off your debts and live within your means" or "The economy is going to tank if you keep electing and sending people to DC that have no clue what they are doing" or "Ron Paul is right (regarding economic principles)"

I won't argue that the Beige Book is influential and for the most part accurate, but it seems like a poison pill to me.  Or is it a suppository?

At least they take turns making said pill...........

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

"CNN and other media are very eager to report recent riots as an
alarming issue. But this exactly what I like about the youth of Greece:
they will not take any more bullsh*t from the goverment or any other
that will compromise their future."

Well said.

Where are the US riots?  Why aren't Americans protesting in the streets after all that's happened?

Mike 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Posts: 2606
Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

Mike - (I promise I am not stalking your posting)

American's are the single largest collective of unjustifiably self-entitled people on the face of the Earth (that may be warming or cooling).  They won't "do" anything because they are sheep and they expect their government to "do" something (and oh how it has done something).

They will wake up and riot when it's too late and instead call the nearest lawyer to sue someone.  Or if someone tries to take their X Box 360 (or whatever electronic brain vacuum they can't live without).

I hate to indict Americans, but I am one and in my 47+ years I have come to the above conclusion.  I do take some solace in the fact that pockets of intelligence, accountability and personal responsibility that can still be found.

If you haven't read "The Fourth Turning" by William Strauss and Neil Howe I reccomend you do so.  If their premise is correct, the Fourth Turning is upon us and I for one am disheartened by the generation that is supposed to lead us through the next cycle.

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MarkM
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Posts: 845
Re: Terrible Retail Sales Numbers, Earth to Fed's Plosser ...

DIAP,

I couldn't agree with you more.  I finally have become politically active in the past year and a half of my life.  Organized protests, door to door election campaigning, etc.  It took me to the middle of my life to fully awaken, and I have always considered myself a little more "radical" than the average American. Therefore, I think it may be too late when the "average Joe" becomes incensed enough to take any kind of action.

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