U.S. Retail Sector Begins Massive Collapse

by Jeff Nielson, Bullion Bulls Canada

The quick-and-easy way to categorize the retail sector of the U.S. economy would be to use the metaphor of “falling off a cliff”. However, such a characterization would be overly simplistic. A more accurate analogy would be to consider someone sliding halfway down the side of a mountain – and then falling off a cliff. This represents the retail sector of the largest “consumer economy” the world has ever seen.

As explained previously; a “consumer economy” is (by definition) a dying economy. Consumption is not an activity which contributes to the productivity of any nation. Rather, “consumption” is our means of harvesting the fruits of previous labours. As a matter of elementary logic; such “harvesting” cannot continue over any extended period, or one will simply run out of anything to harvest.

At that point; the consumer economy becomes a debtor economy, meaning a Deadbeat Economy, since it now lacks the productive capacity to pay for what it consumes. Our economies have become a cartoon, and our governments have become a Cartoon Character, specifically Wimpy, from the old “Popeye” cartoons.

I’ll pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Children laugh at the cartoon, because everyone knows that Wimpy can never pay for the hamburger on “Tuesday”, but rather when it comes time to pay for his consumption he will simply seek to do more mooching. That is the “consumer economy”. That is the U.S. economy.

But as with the mooching of any Deadbeat; at some point such reckless irresponsibility must come to an end. At some point; all the mooching, and all the lies about “paying” for the mooching will come to an end, because those in possession of wealth will simply refuse to surrender any more of it to the Deadbeat. That is the U.S. consumer economy today.

The U.S. retail sector has been “sliding down the mountain” for many years now, although the rate of this slide has dramatically accelerated since the Crash of ’08, and the mythical “U.S. recovery”. Three million less people are now working in the U.S. since the “recovery” began. Gasoline consumption has plummeted by 60% since the “recovery” began.

Then there is the train-wreck we know as the U.S. retail sector. Here the economic lies are especially transparent, as has been explained in many previous commentaries. The principle means by which the economic lies of (in particular) the U.S. government seem to indicate “growth” in the retail sector is that the lies never account for inflation.

In the real world; inflation is 10+% every year. Thus when attempting to “measure” consumptionrevenues in the retail sector (which is all that our governments ever measure), revenues will increase by 10+% from inflation alone. If inflation is not “subtracted” out of this calculation, then we are not measuring any change (rise or fall) in retail sales.

Rather, what is being measured is the change in retail sales plus the rate of inflation. Since we only want to know the change in retail sales, and since subtracting inflation from this calculation is so simple a ten-year-old child could do it; the fact that our governments refuse to remove inflation from this statistic is proof their “statistics” here are deliberate lies, specifically a statistic which exaggerates the level of economic activity in the retail sector by the full rate of inflation.

What happens when we do subtract inflation, and then calculate U.S. retail sales? As has been frequently observed, once inflation is subtracted in order to create a meaningful calculation; we see that U.S. retail sales have been falling every year. Indeed, sales have been falling in nearly every month of every year.

It is after years and years of such sliding that we now observe the latest massacre in the U.S. retail sector. It began with the ever-important U.S. “Black Friday” shopping weekend. Factoring inflation into the calculation; 2014 U.S. “Black Friday” shopping plummeted by over 20% year-over-year.

Note also that all of these annual plunges in U.S. consumption are cumulative. Since the “U.S. recovery” was proclaimed into existence; the U.S. retail sector is now only selling about half as many goods as when this pseudo-recovery began. What does it mean when a consumer economy (i.e. a dying economy) is only selling half as many goods as previously? Death is very near.

Continue Reading>>>

Sharing is caring!