Advance Retail Sales Details
- The Advance Retail Sales were $658.1 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent from the previous month, and 17.6 percent above February 2021.
- The December 2021 to January 2022 percent change was revised from up 3.8 percent to up 4.9 percent.
- Gasoline station sales were up 36.4 percent from February 2021.
- Motor vehicles sales rose 0.8 percent.
- Excluding motor vehicles sales were up 0.2 percent.
- Excluding motor vehicles and gas sales declined 0.4 percent.
Advance retail sales are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.
Why the January Bounce?
The following chart helps explain the dip in December and the rise in January.
- The huge 11.2% dip in nonstore retail sales (think Amazon), was followed by a 20.6% rebound in January.
- This largely reflects gift card purchases made in December but spent in January. Stores do not count gift cards as sales until they are spent.
- The first two spikes in the above chart represent genuine helicopter drop spending from fiscal stimulus.
Three rounds of fiscal stimulus, the first under Trump early on, are clearly visible in the above chart.
- Huge inflation resulted from those free-money handouts.
- Covid caused supply chain disruptions.
- Covid also caused a huge consumer demand preference shift from services to good (fewer haircuts, less eating out, more work-at-home offices, etc).
- Fed QE stimulus lowered mortgage rates fueling price-chasing.
- Fed QE stimulus also fueled insanely overpriced stocks. The wealth effect in turn simulated housing and spending in general.
- Labor shortages led to wage hikes. Although wage hikes did not keep up with inflation, consumers still spend more as prices rose.
- Very recently, and on top of previous inflation spikes, the war in Ukraine fueled commodity price increases.
Biden Down the Rabbit Hold
On March 11, I discussed Biden's Lie of the Day: "Make No Mistake, Inflation is Largely the Fault of Putin"
Inflation was basked in the cake and rising steeply long before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Used Car Are Prices Up 42 Percent in One Year, Have They Finally Peaked?
Nancy Pelosi Hoot of the Day "Government Spending Reduces Debt"
Nancy Pelosi tried to downplay events with her nonsensical comment "Government Spending Reduces Debt"
This post originated on MishTalk.Com.
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