Let’s talk about the recovery, which if it ever existed (it didn’t) ended at least two years ago. Jeffrey Snider writes for Alhambra:
If March was supposed to herald at least the beginning of the anticipated yearly rebound, April put that idea to rest. In terms of retail sales, one of the most important and largest segments of “demand”, April’s figures were mostly the worst of the recovery and some of the worst in the entire series – “beating” out February in every category. Even including autos, total retail sales gained just 0.72% in April more than suggesting there really is a major economic problem brewing.
Among the other segments, the figures are getting truly dire (all numbers are year-over-year not-adjusted): retail & food sales ex autos -0.35%; retail trade incl. autos –0.26%; just retail ex food ex autos -1.80%; general merchandise stores -1.52%. While these numbers are severe on their own, this is a contractionary environment that now stretches at least four months and in some cases five. Recessions are not spontaneous events but rather the accumulation of negative pressures and results. There can be no doubt that consumers in the US right at this moment are acting out of recessionary impulses.
Janet Yellen is gonna need a bigger printing press.
UPDATE: Whatever killed PJM this morning seems to still be messing up some images. There’s supposed to be a chart in that blank spot above — a wicked scary chart. Will get it fixed after I’m finished playing Superdad this morning.