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When you are locked in your home for weeks, with no income, and people are dying in the streets, guess what happens to retail sales.

Bloomberg reports China Car Sales Tumble 92% in First Half of February on Virus

China car sales plunged 92% during the first two weeks of February in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the China Passenger Car Association. It was even worse in the first week, with nationwide sales tumbling 96% to a daily average of only 811 units, PCA said in a report released earlier this week. Deliveries this month may slump by about 70%, resulting in a 40% drop in the first two months of 2020, it said. The figures exclude minivans. The situation isexpected to improve in the third week of Februarycompared with the start of the month, PCA Secretary General Cui Dongshu said in an interview on Friday.

Improvement Expected

To what?

From here, down 50% or even 90% is an "improvement"

People have had no income for weeks.

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I highly doubt buying cars is on their minds.

Economically Speaking

From an economic standpoint, January saw the Largest Shipping Decline Since 2009 and That's Before Coronavirus impact hit.

Supply chain disruptions have barely started.

It is impossible to estimate the full impact as long as cases are spreading. Worse yet, cases are exponentially rising outside of China.

With that in mind, there's Little Chance of Coronavirus Containment in South Korea where cases are rising exponentially.

Talk of car sales "improvement" seems more than a bit ridiculous.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock