Advance Retail Sales - Detail 2021-07

The Census Department Advance Retail Sales Report shows sales decreased 1.1% in July. 

Such numbers shed little light on what's actually happening. The above chart and the next one shows what is happening.

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories 

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories 2021-07

Food and drinking sales are above pre-pandemic levels. Heck, even department store sales are up (albeit in a severe long-term decline).

Motor vehicles sales are well above pre-pandemic levels and likely would be even higher if there was not a shortage of microchips and other key parts.

People Will Spend Free Money

  • Sales collapsed at the onset on the pandemic
  • Sales surged in April and May of 2020 on the first round of stimulus under Trump
  • Sales flatlined until the second round of stimulus at the end of 2020 under Biden.
  • Sales surged on the second and third rounds of stimulus and have slightly fallen since.

In addition to free money checks that even went to the employed, many of those on unemployment made more being unemployed than they did working.

This led to a demand for labor coupled with escalating wages and escalating prices. The pandemic fueled more work-at-home arrangements including a demand for homes as well as a shortage of lumber. 

On top of the free money from Congress, the Fed goosed the stock markets with cheap money and record asset purchases including mortgage-backed securities fueling the already overheated housing market. 

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There is strong debate on the transitory nature of some of this. But if the Progressives and Greens manage to get an import tax on energy, inflation will be anything but transitory.

Under the clean energy mandate, businesses will have to phase out more and more natural gas every year, opting for unreliable wind and solar no matter what it costs.

Click on the above link for further details and discussion.

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