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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SpendingPulse on Feb Sales

I'm not doing too well on the sleeping. Here's a topical article:
Retail sales tumbled 1.1 percent last month, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in January, said SpendingPulse, the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors, an arm of MasterCard Worldwide (MA.N). The report excludes auto sales.
In February, consumers cut back on nearly all types of items. Even the few bright retail areas which had posted solid gains such as gasoline, groceries and electronics faltered, according to SpendingPulse.
Although there are signs that the production side of the economy is picking up, the gas prices will overwhelm that effect for a while. This is a very significant reading, and it is very consistent with other data. The consumer side of the economy is slowing significantly.

Keeping in mind that I am the glass is not only half empty but cracked and leaking kinda of fellow, any improvement will be overwhelmed for the near future. While we gotta get off our debt based economy and onto something else any good news will be overwhelmed.

That said, I hope for a lot of foreign investment and companies not only because of the economics, but because they will have a different world view than the US companies they replace.
Vader, I am not sure they will have a different world view, but I think we will tend to get the investment. Globalization is not a one-way street.
Wasn't overproduction (out of pace with consumer demand) a big cause of the Great Depression? Will we be in bigger trouble if we can't export if we gear up production when demand is still low?
Joy, yes and no. Comparatively, per capita consumption of goods in the US is still far higher than in most of the world's population. Companies will tend to invest here to conserve their access to that source of demand.

I do believe that in some sectors relative world oversupply of production exists. For example, I strongly expect that pharmaceutical plants in some Asian countries are overbuilt.

So much of our manufacturing base has been lost that we are most likely to be reinvesting in basic commodity production and parts supply for various high end manufacturing.
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