Americans Are in a Sour Mood, But it Didn’t Dampen their Spending: Splurging at Retailers, Especially Some Retailers

Retail Therapy at Bars & Restaurants, Cannabis Stores, and Ecommerce? Other retailers not so lucky.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Retail sales jumped 0.9% in April from March, after having jumped 1.4% in March from February, to $678 billion, and were up 8.2% from a year ago, seasonally adjusted, the Commerce Department reported today. Retail sales are sales only of goods, not services. And we’ve been seeing for months now a widespread shift in consumer spending from goods back to services, where spending had collapsed during the pandemic, but is now surging.

These retail sales today confirm this trend: Despite the shift of spending to services, consumers are still spending huge amounts on goods, and growth in retail sales is somewhere near the rate of inflation, with “real” growth (adjusted for inflation) trending down, as spending on services, adjusted for inflation, more than makes up for it.

Consumers are in a Sour Mood, but hasn’t dampened their spending.

Raging inflation has outpaced the income growth of many Americans, and they’re also shifting spending into services. And yet, retail sales have continued to surge, including ecommerce sales. What is fascinating, in terms of shifts, is that there is a big boom going on at bars and restaurants, and at miscellaneous stores, which prominently include cannabis retailers – where sales far outpaced the rate of inflation.

This surge in sales is happening even as consumer sentiment in May has dropped to a decade low, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. Overall sentiment was beaten down by worries about raging inflation that has spread across all sectors of the economy and is hitting consumers in face every day (data via St. Louis Fed and University of Michigan Survey of Consumers):

Retail therapy? It’s as if consumers are trying to overcome their grief and anger over inflation with some classic retail therapy to make them feel better — and they’re doing it in bars & restaurants, specialty stores that include cannabis stores, and with ecommerce. Other retailers are not so lucky.

Sales at New and Used Vehicle and Parts Dealers, the largest retailer category, rose by 2.2% in April from March, to $132 billion, seasonally adjusted, but were down 1.7% from a year ago. Used vehicle prices have started to tick down on a month-to-month basis, though they remain much higher than a year ago, while new vehicle prices continued to spike at record pace as new vehicle dealers are woefully low on inventory. And retail sales in dollar terms are the result of this mix:

Sales at ecommerce and other “nonstore retailers” rose 2.1% seasonally adjusted in April from March, to $107 billion, and were up 12.7% year-over-year. This is the second-largest retailer category and includes the ecommerce operations of classic brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Walmart:

Food and Beverage Stores: Sales dipped 0.2% for the month to $77 billion, seasonally adjusted, but were still up by 7.1% year-over-year, powered entirely by price increases:

Food services and drinking places: Sales at these bars, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, etc. jumped by 2.0% for the month seasonally adjusted, to a record $84 billion, and by 19.8% year-over-year. This growth rate is nearly three times the rate of CPI inflation for “food away from home” (7.2%), which indicates that people are going out to splurge and enjoy and perhaps douse their sour mood with the appropriate liquidity, and they’re spending heroic amounts of money to do it.

General merchandise stores: Sales were essentially flat for the month, at $57 billion, seasonally adjusted, and ticked up only 0.8% from the stimulus fueled April a year ago. Walmart and Costco are in this category, but not department stores.

Gas stations: Sales fell by 2.7% for the month, on falling gasoline prices, to $62 billion, seasonally adjusted. Year-over-year, sales were still up by 36.9%, powered entirely by the year-over-year spike in gasoline prices.

Building materials, garden supply and equipment stores: Sales were about flat for the month, at $43 billion, for a year-over-year gain of 1.7% from Stimulus Miracle April:

Clothing and accessory stores: Sales rose by 0.8% for the month, and by 8.0% year-over-year to $26 billion, seasonally adjusted:

Miscellaneous store retailers (includes cannabis stores): Sales spiked by 4.0% for the month to a record $15.9 billion (seasonally adjusted), and were up by 19% from a year ago. This category tracks specialty stores, including cannabis stores that have become one of the hottest trends in brick-and-mortar retail, as some of the black-market business is coming above ground:

Department stores: sales rose 1.1% for the month, to $11.5 billion, and were up 2.9% from a year ago. Price increases made up for volume declines. Compared to the peak in the year 2000, sales were down 42%, as this format of store has fallen out of favor with Americans, triggering the closure of thousands of stores and numerous bankruptcies:

Furniture and home furnishing stores: Sales rose 0.7% for the month (seasonally adjusted), and at $12 billion were up just 0.8% year-over-year, despite price increases:

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores: Sales dipped 0.5% for the month, to $8.9 billion (seasonally adjusted), and were down by 5.4% year-over-year:

Electronics and appliance stores: Sales rose 1.0% for the month, to $7.8 billion, seasonally adjusted, but were down 5.2% year-over-year. This segment covers only sales in specialty electronics and appliance stores, such as Best Buy or Apple stores. Electronics and appliances are a large business that is spread across many types of retailers, such as General Merchandise and ecommerce retailers, and electronics and appliance sales at those retailers are included in their segments (above).

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  191 comments for “Americans Are in a Sour Mood, But it Didn’t Dampen their Spending: Splurging at Retailers, Especially Some Retailers

  1. joedidee says:

    We went out to eat twice last week – once kid took out for mothers day
    and 2nd was after CHURCH thing
    —-
    OTHERWISE it’s steaks on grill instead
    —-
    well I helped GDP today
    bought gas – $110 and needed refrigerator for rental $1000
    so glad they are tax deductible activities

    otherwise all SALES/GAS TAX I SPENT would be going to like SPENDTHRIFT CONgress

    • Cas127 says:

      Steaks?

      Did you take out a second mortgage?

      If you watch Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rockford Files episodes from the 70’s, the intro for both (some seasons at least) both have vignettes illustrating shock/disgust at meat prices.

      Well done, DC…50 years of regression.

      • Winston says:

        But Rockford lived in a trailer parked in a restaurant parking lot on high value Malibu, CA beach property and drove a Firebird, so other than the fact that he rarely got paid, life wasn’t so bad. Great series, BTW. MTM was pretty good, too. “Chuckles Bites the Dust” was a classic.

        • Levi C. says:

          Sadly I believe our economy is directed by disciples of Ted Baxter.

        • NBay says:

          I’m less optimistic….I’d say more by disciples of Joel Osteen and the Falwell family.

        • NBay says:

          diddie is a real piece of their work…..what’s worse is it doesn’t bother him a bit.

    • US Budget Deficit Shrinks $1.6 Trillion on Record Tax Surge
      Jump in revenue to Treasury propelled by individual taxes
      Spending slowdown has also contributed to narrower deficit

    • Waldopepper12 says:

      This is y the government n corpos dont care when people cry about prices.

  2. CrazyDoc says:

    Miscellaneous store retailers sales is pretty impressive – into the stratosphere – will we soon reach double pre-COVID levels

  3. Escierto says:

    I would love to know who is doing all this spending. I can buy whatever I want but I am not buying anything. If my fellow citizens spent like I do we would be in a depression. So what gives?

    • Flea says:

      I’m in your boat ,

    • phleep says:

      Same here. My “heroic” efforts have kept my nominal spending amounts FLAT, my reserves such as bank accounts (nominally) at the same amounts. It takes all my ingenuity to do this. That’s the only liquidity I care about. So glad I dumped smokes and drinks long ago.

      • Lisa says:

        I’m saving as much as I can. I dont eat out much at all bc we have a family of 4. Prices are out of control. Ppl going out like crazy and spending money on all sorts of things, spas, manicures, dining out, etc. no one seems broke where I’m at

    • Halibut says:

      Same here. I can buy whatever I want because I don’t buy whatever I want.

      • TK says:

        Exactly! And so we can pay for our kid to attend Grad school. But we don’t drive fancy cars, have any debt or live ostentatiously. We should be rewarded. But the Fed rewards spenders not savers. I don’t get it at all.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        EXACTLY TOO h.
        WE, in this case the family WE, can buy whatever WE want and whenever also:::
        Because WE do NOT buy anything WE don’t actually ”need” and put the very clear difference in savings..
        Sure as heck, WE know those savings ”lose” while the current mania, clearly denoted and illustrated on here continues.
        But we have not lost 50% in a week,,, and will, far shore, buy the I-Bonds when the FFR goes back to reality…

    • cb says:

      Anybody who has a few bucks, and figures they might as well spend them before they are worthless. I am quicker to spend than I was once, because i see less point in hanging onto a sucker’s asset.

      • Cas127 says:

        Or…those incinerating dollars could be invested in a productive, future income producing real asset…

        • cb says:

          @ Cas127 –

          like what?

        • cb says:

          @ Cas127-

          many “investments” become incinerators themselves …..

          but I am all ears to investment opinions, from you, sunny129, old school, wolf or many other rational contributors to this site

      • RH says:

        More Americans are realizing this: the banksters are using inflation to suck out the value of the US dollars, while they borrow from their Fed cartel dollars that it can create digitally at less than the true rate of inflation or get them from foolish US bank depositors. Thus, many of us are buying whatever we will need now, before prices go up more.

        However, for now, most Americans can still pay their bills. Compounding of inflation means that situation will not last.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Escierto,

      Maybe you should get out a little more? Our favorite restaurants are packed with people eating and carrying on and having a great time. And during the day, from my perch at my global media mogul empire headquarters, I can see the endless all-day parade of delivery vans dropping stuff off at our street.

      • Marbles says:

        It will take a while, but that all day parade will get shorter. Amazon is not as busy in Denver as they were. At least from what I see with the owner-operator truckers.

        • Green Bay says:

          At the farmland edge of a Green Bay suburb, Trammel Crow Company, a developer of commercial projects (and former developer of an Amazon distribution/fulfillment center) has cancelled their planned 90-foot tall distribution/fulfillment center that was suspected to be for Amazon because of “changing market conditions.” It was planned to hire over 1000 workers and operate 24/7.

      • intosh says:

        Same where I live. Restaurants where the ambiance pre-COVID was like that of a library are now packed, multi-hours wait line-ups.

        Current spending frenzy is fuelled by savings from ~2 years of austerity imposed by pandemic restrictions. I expected the spending hangover to hit at some point and hard.

      • LeClerc says:

        Lines outside restaurants all over the Bay Area.

        Two DHL (intl. delivery) vans 40 feet apart, residential area.

        Two or three new cars max in showrooms.

        Want a full-size Bronco? Maybe next year.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      Top 5% to 10%, many of whom have been in state of economic euphoria this entire century with the asset mania lasting over 20 years. With asset inflation and high incomes, they can spend big and still become richer, on paper.

      Segments of the population who have the most secure employment, especially higher paying government employment. Any big city has a lot of them. One demographic within this group seems to account for an outsized proportion of mid-priced restaurant tabs and luxury car sales. With guaranteed pensions and gold plated health care benefits, they can literally blow every cent they make and still expect to be better off than most of their private sector peers.

      Until recently, employees who made windfalls from stock incentives at economic “disruptors”, “internet” companies, and “tech” companies.

      Home owners either using their houses again like ATMs or spending more of their incomes because they feel rich from housing bubble 2. Don;t sense there is that much of this though compared to housing bubble 1.

    • Reez says:

      Could it be that minimum wage has been increasing, closing the gap on the upper middle class?
      Also, inflation is much worse than admitted. I found this chart but don’t know the source:

    • Depth Charge says:

      That’s an easy answer – all the people fat as f**k on the PPP loans, the people who refi’d and are spending their house equity away, and a bunch of debt junkies who’ve never heard of not spending. And lastly, the wealthy.

      We are in the biggest housing/credit bubble in history. The idea that, at these insane house prices, people who stop spending is ludicrous. Some of these people watched their $150k house blow up to $600k. They are strutting around like peacocks.

      Jerome Powell is the most disgusting failure of a human being imaginable. After Bernanke came out and admitted Powell was scared to raise rates, it tarnished his reputation even more – if that was even possible.

      • Depth Charge says:

        *who = would

      • Deanna Johnston Clark says:

        Those disgusting failures of human beings are getting huge salaries to be just that in the public eye.
        “Dear Mom, I got the job!! I’m getting millions to be a disgusting human being….but I’ll get fired fast if I don’t live up to the job.”

    • Tom S. says:

      This is April data. Unless memorial day is gangbusters I’d suggest we are past the peak and could see a slowdown materializing in May data. Some places are crowded but many empty, traffic surprisingly light on the weekends, crowded gas stations less crowded. We will see.

    • Old School says:

      Even though rate of change is declining there is still excessive money supply working through the system. One way is states are still spending Pandemic funds they received from Congress, at least in my state. They are even running commercials urging small business to file for the money.

      I think the pig is going to take another year to get completely out of the Python.

      Long term trend is no increase in working age population in first world overall which should result in very low real GDP growth of only around 1% (productivity gains only). This inflation might be an unstable blip in the long term as the massive debt has to be serviced by slow growth economy.

    • Winston says:

      “If my fellow citizens spent like I do we would be in a depression.”

      If more people simply reduced spending a bit and did not buy anything they didn’t actually NEED that’s made in China, they could force an end to the “that which cannot continue indefinitely WON’T” FED/treasury/government debt-based bubble resulting in the continuous wealth transfer upward.

      It would have been far better to have done that long ago before the potential energy in the coiled spring of malinvestment became so huge, but better sooner than later.

      So, anyone griping about the status quo should look in a mirror to find the culprit who allows it.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Escierto

      My favorite watering hole is going out of business May 23rd, after squatting in their current location for 2 years. They didn’t pay a dime in rent. I don’t know what I’m going to do? Where am I going to spend my money now and where can I raise hell anymore, and bet on sports games??

  4. OutWest says:

    I don’t get it. For the past five decades I’ve been told that the American consumer is toast, out of money, and out of luck. Yet, they always find a way to beat the odds and drive up consumption. Perplexing.

    • Gen Z says:

      Credit cards, HELOCs, payday loans.

      Lots of that here in Toronto. In America, it’s probably the same. Gotta spend to make the American elite wealthier.

      • phleep says:

        Also it has gone (via bailouts and giveaways) into public debt so astronomical it boggles the mind.

        • cas127 says:

          Fed Debt well in excess of 100% GDP now, even before the Entitlements nightmare begins.

          But at least the DC lectures on what ethical failures 50%+ of population are, are free.

    • 2banana says:

      $7+ trillion in cheap and easy money since 2008.

    • Old School says:

      Percentage of Americans receiving transfer payments is at about 20% last I saw.

      • unamused says:

        To include Social Security.

        Social Security payments are considered transfer payments even though recipients have paid into the system, so it’s technically insurance, and not ‘welfare’. Naturally corporatists dishonestly define it because they want it privatized under their control to better serve their pleonexia.

        Pleonexia is strictly defined as “the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others.”

        Percentage of major banks and fossil fuel companies receiving public subsidies is 100% last I saw.

  5. unamused says:

    Spending money like there’s no tomorrow. How prescient.

    Once people have gotten rid of their money it won’t be a problem for them anymore, and they’ll have time to deal with more serious issues, like avoiding homelessness and starvation.

    People have been well-conditioned by the US Marketing Culture (the only kind it has left) to believe that buying stuff will make them happy, and if it doesn’t it can only be because they haven’t bought enough stuff and need to go out and buy more stuff. People can live their whole lives and never catch on to the con.

    • Sean Shasta says:

      Unamused: You said:
      “People have been well-conditioned by the US Marketing Culture…”

      Socrates: An unexamined life is not worth living.

      Almost all people live by their 5 senses, so there is not even a possibility of introspection and development. People would rather enjoy temporary pleasures rather than sustained well-being which requires some thinking, planning, and will-power.

      The US Marketing Culture takes full advantage of this human propensity to occupy oneself with temporary pleasures. Unfortunately, it is neither good for individuals nor for the country as a whole.

      • Marcus Aurelius says:

        It was Plato, or Socrates, who was walking through a market in Athens with his students. He stopped. Looked around and said to his students:

        “Look at all the stuff I don’t need”.

        (PS: My shopping spree, mentioned above, consisted of things I need, or will need, over the next 10 years. I wonder if toothpaste can last 10 years……………..?)

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Maybe old Soc said that SS,,, but certainly Thoreau said the same or very similar IIRC.
        In any and every case, the point of that is to help direct folks to ”introspection” by any name,,, and for those of us lucky enough to be born and raised during and after World War 2,,, the clear indications/instructions from either of those olde dudes, and many many younger dudes and dudettes IS;
        Listen to all, but ”THINK” and then MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.
        Anything else is based on the very very thorough ”propaganda” known as advertising.

  6. Gen Z says:

    The American Dream is now to spend the remaining pennies after paying most of that to rent for BlackRock and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.

  7. Michael Engel says:

    Eat and drink because tomorrow we die, we are not spending in
    casino royal (the stock market).

  8. Bodhisattva says:

    If I recall from history books, spending on booze imbibement was rampant throughout the great depression so no surprise here. What is different is the use of plastique to pay for wants. People addicted to credit never see a reason to stop spending until they go banko or daddy takes the T Bird away, ad it were. And so fuels the inflation spiral. Austerity is a dirty word in the lower 48. But just wait!!

  9. phleep says:

    I guess it is pro-social to spend and support one’s neighbors’ jobs. That is, until the whole carousel wheels into the abyss.

    Just call me “little ray of sunshine.”

  10. Propheticus says:

    If you’ll place the word “been” in front of the word “seeing,” in the article, you’re good to go. Just trying to help out. Thank you.

  11. Poor like you says:

    Anecdotally, many people in my social group (ages 35-50), people are kinda spending money with a “what the heck does it matter, anyway” mentality.

    We’re all up to our ears in debt, but the party hasn’t ever REALLY ended in our lifetime. Maybe we just don’t know what real suffering is like.

    • RemoteWorks says:

      > in my social group (ages 35-50), people are kinda spending money with a “what the heck does it matter, anyway” mentality.

      That might be optimal given that the environment is going to hell, at least in the western part of the US. Who knows whether it will be livable in 2-3 decades from now with all those wildfires and no rain?

      It will only get more dystopian IMHO.

      • Anthony says:

        RemoteWorks

        Well, as forest fires in the USA are down roughly 80% since 1910 and to be honest the 2.5 million people who had to flee the dustbowl states of the 1930’s must have been mad to choose California, even if it was cooler and had more rain…. Regarding the 15,000 Americans who died of heat and had dust in their lungs as well, maybe it was just a dream of those fools who reported it daily in the newspapers…. History can be a swine……especially for those nuts who endured a fifty year drought in the seventeenth century in California…….(mainly native Americans in those days, tough people) If you live in a land that, every so often reverts back to desert, don’t be too surprised if it doesn’t rain….

        • RemoteWorks says:

          Have 3 rainwater barrels full, how many do you have?

          The new liquid gold, love it!

    • Halibut says:

      When you crack the window on the car you’re sleeping in because it’s so muggy you just have to breathe… And the mosquitoes swarm in and make you regret it, well, then you’ll know.

      • Marbles says:

        Ha. As a kid in Texas, back in the 50’s I was forgotten. In a wheat truck when the crew went back to Pampa. I was 12. Anyway, lots of mosquitos. Close the window. Got hot and rolled the window down to cool off. Roll up window, and then spend 15 minutes killing mosquitos. Repeat until one of the crew came back for me. I had forgot all about it. Thanks.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      Don’t worry, given current attitudes, they will expect a government bailout. Corporations and banks got it, so why not them?

      Expectations will be even worse when the next recession hits after the pandemic stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment where many were paid more for not working.

      It’s anecdotal, but back in the GFC, read numerous accounts of people who lost their jobs yet wouldn’t cut their expenses and living standards while unemployed. Chose to spend their severance (when they had any) and savings instead, assuming they would find work. Some did but others did not.

      When I was laid off in 2011 and out of work for four months (to the day), I started looking (as permitted) prior to my termination date. I didn’t treat it as a vacation to self-actualize. When I found another job, I saved all my severance pay (less taxes) plus what I normally did from my new job.

      Americans generally assume that everything will always “work out”. It’s a combination of optimism and self-delusion, substantially from the multi-decade (to the early 80’s) credit mania which seems to have ended in 2020 but the reversal isn’t evident yet.

      Americans aren’t exempt from a long-term decline in living standards and are about to become poorer or a lot poorer.

      • unamused says:

        “Americans aren’t exempt from a long-term decline in living standards and are about to become poorer or a lot poorer.”

        Lenin predicted that Britain would colonize itself out of existence, Germany would militarize itself out of existence, and Americans would spend themselves out of existence. That last one is taking a while but is still hotly pursued.

        • SocalJimObjects says:

          Of course there will be humans in the future. That too is a foregone conclusion. Some of us will do whatever it takes to survive and that will be enough to ensure the survival of humanity. That aside though, that fact will not be comforting for most people.

  12. ru82 says:

    Most of those retail charts should continue up until you hit a recession. During inflationary times, you are spending more on widgets but you are not getting more widgets.

  13. Anthony A. says:

    Restaurants around here on Sunday nights were always half empty in the evening. Now there is a 45 minute to hour wait for a table at the chain types. And they don’t take reservations anymore.

    I could always get a tee time at one of the local public courses any Thursday in the HOT summer by calling in the morning. Now if you aren’t on the phone Monday at 8:00 AM, not tee time for you!

    Must be all the work from underwear folks around here hauling in the Big Bucks and playing golf every day!

  14. unamused says:

    Speaking of overspending, it is still very common for lottery winners to spend themselves into bankruptcy in short order.

    Most people are unaware that the NFL runs charities because about 80% of players go broke within two years of retiring from the league, despite the fact that the median annual salary for all NFL players is $860,000 and the minimum starting salary for rookies is $435,000.

    The NFL has long since given up offering free financial management seminars because they couldn’t get anybody to show up. When it comes to personal finance, Americans clearly like to emulate their sports heroes.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      Most professional athletes grow up poor. So did I, though not as poor as some or most of them.

      They also go broke because, in addition to lacking financial discipline, they have no other marketable skills. Many of them (in the past at least) used to be functionally illiterate.

      My guess is that, in addition to not wanting to control their spending, a disproportionate percentage didn’t comprehend what they were being taught. They didn’t want to understand balancing a checkbook or the necessity of spending less than income while being unable to understand (practically) everything else involved in financial planning.

      Growing up poor will mostly do one of two things to anyone. It can make you frugal like I have been all my life. Or, it can make you a spendthrift including buying all the cr*p you always wanted but could never afford.

      • COWG says:

        “ Growing up poor will mostly do one of two things to anyone. It can make you frugal like I have been all my life. Or, it can make you a spendthrift including buying all the cr*p you always wanted but could never afford”

        AF,

        There is actually a third it can do to you…

        It can teach you that money is a tool that should be used, not spent…

        Once you think in terms of “using” money, you’ll never “spend” money again…

        • phleep says:

          One of the best things about my youth was not having a lot of money to throw around. For a short time when I started earning more, I threw it around. But the original experiences resurfaced. Any comfort and ease in life I have now, I owe to that. A certain amount of disappointment and scarcity is good for a human. So now I cultivate a certain scarcity in myself.

        • cb says:

          COWG said: “It can teach you that money is a tool that should be used, not spent…”
          —————————————–

          just make sure that tool does rust away while you are waiting for planting season ………………….

          that’s what has been happening to money for decades; it’s been rusting away; the big trick was the FED forcing the chase for yield ——- risking the tool in a sub-par endeavor

    • cb says:

      some of them grew to regret they ever met a financial manager

      • Flea says:

        Most financial planners end up being better off than there clients = legal theft

    • SocalJimObjects says:

      Most Americans also believe they’ll be able to live comfortably during retirement. Seriously America might be the most deluded country on the face of the planet.

      • Rain says:

        I can’t even begin to imagine what the situation will be like for many older Americans in the coming decades. My parents actually got to retire. They had social security, pensions, investments, home equity and inheritance. Not me, borderline Gen X/Baby Boomer, no pension, no investments or home ownership – (I never made enough money) and there will be no inheritance, mom is in assisted living @ 50K a year. I’m looking at $2061 a month in SS at age 70 (if it’s still solvent) Current rent on my studio apartment is nearly 1K. Average Medicare supplemental premium = almost $400. Not a pretty picture – -and I’m not the only one. Going to be a real mess

      • phleep says:

        Wolf’s charts showing the plight of the bottom 50 percent are eye-opening.

        I had a student who defected from the USSR (Kyiv, Ukraine, at the time). He said his old friends back there lived on a bit of sausage and vodka each day. The vodka made them feel more fed.

        Plenty of folks from deprived areas of the world are fodder for terrorist organizations, gangs, etc.

        • unamused says:

          “Plenty of folks from deprived areas of the world are fodder for terrorist organizations, gangs, etc.”

          Indeed, there are mass shootings in the US almost every day, like the ten dead in Buffalo on Friday, promoted by one of the major political parties. It’s an activity which ranks right up there with spending money and fornication.

        • El Katz says:

          unamused:

          In Chicago, 21 people were reportedly shot in “mass shootings” on May 10th – which was a Tuesday. 28 were shot (5 fatally) over this past weekend. It’s a daily occurrence. Year to date, 779 shootings / 194 fatalities have been reported.

          Is that the fault of the other “major political party” that has been in power in Chicago for nearly a century?

          Your statement is divisive nonsense.

        • unamused says:

          “Your statement is divisive nonsense.”

          Nobody’s implicated you in storming the US Capitol, Ed. Just go shopping, spend some money, and pretend it never happened.

        • El Katz says:

          Unamused:

          How does one go from “mass shootings in Buffalo” to the Capitol building debacle? Nice attempted diversion, unamused…. The Capitol building protest and “mass shootings” somehow don’t equate… unless you’re referencing Ashli Babbit’s murder.

          Your comment is still divisive. That’s the reason that this country is so broken.

          And don’t you concern yourself with my shopping and spending behavior…. better to judge your actions than those of others.

        • unamused says:

          ‘How does one go from “mass shootings in Buffalo” to the Capitol building debacle?’

          They’re both provably the direct consequence of violent militancy publicly promoted by demagogues on your side on the aisle, as are mass shootings at synagogues, churches, schools, and related targets. As if you didn’t know.

          “And don’t you concern yourself with my shopping and spending behavior.”

          Buy as much fertilizer, fuel oil, and assault weapons as you like, Ed.

    • HowNow says:

      Average length of a career in the NFL = 3.3 yrs.

    • 728huey says:

      It’s true that a lot of NFL players go broke, but they also have on average the shortest careers of all professional athletes due to injuries plus for about 80% of the football players their contracted salaries are not guaranteed. Your average offensive or defensive lineman may sign a $10 million dollar contract for four years with a $1 million dollar signing bonus, but due to salary cap rules, maybe only $3 million is guaranteed over the life of that contract, and if the player gets cut from the team before the contract ends they could be out of the rest of that money.

  15. Propheticus says:

    Recently bought a clone, “Gelato41,” for the annual grow op in my backyard. Legally allowed to grow up to four plants, I just do one. Come harvest time, I “donate” the entire plant to friends, as I’m not a consumer, but I do enjoy that so-called “skunk weed” aroma. In return for my donation, I have some very happy friends and I get the best homemade candy come Christmas time. Paid $21 for the clone. Last year, it cost me $18.

  16. JayW says:

    Most of this just shows there’s still noticeable upward momentum for inflation. The FED is not going to hit its QT targets for MBS, meaning their efforts tame home price inflation will not be as successful as they hope it will be. Moreover, JPowell can’t control crude oil prices which are now a function of Biden anti-oil policies and the EU’s decision to begin decoupling from Russia. This very well could turn out to be worse than the early days of the crude oil shock of the 70’s.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      1. QT doesn’t have a target but a “cap.” meaning maximum of.

      2. They’ll hit the maximum just fine, during the early phases of QT. When the flow slows down, they might later sell MBS to get to the cap.

      3. But no, it won’t be enough to tame inflation for a while. It will eventually, because financial markets will keep stumbling lower and lower as QT begins to bite, and eventually the turmoil in the markets will hit demand, which will hit inflation. But not for a while.

      • Jay says:

        Mish had a nice writeup yesterday that, I believe, lays out the opposite picture, specifically for MBS. Certainly, most of this is well above our layman’s heads, but I do enjoy reading opposite views. Time will tell, and I’m certainly on the side that believes the FED has intentionally laid out a plan that underdelivers on its ability to tame inflation.

        As I’ve said, I don’t think the FED is worried as much about financial markets as they are residential real estate. Again, time will tell.

        Thanks, Wolf!

  17. Harrold says:

    Who’s buying these record number of autos? My local honda dealer has nothing for sale. He laid off 2/3 of his sales staff. They have no inventory of new cars and few coming in. They don’t want my money. They can’t even trade with other dealers for what a local customer is ready to buy. This is what they told me today.

    There is something very wrong with these numbers, sourced by a gov’t that wants us to re-elect them!

    • J7915 says:

      According to my car dealer, I use their service department: VWs are selling, just that they move from the auto transporter directly to the customer. Right now I don’t think they have even an IDE 4 for show and tell.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Auto sales in terms of the number of vehicles sold has plunged to 1970s level (nothing to sell). But due to huge price increases, the dollars sales were high.

    • El Katz says:

      Back in them olden days (1979-1980’s), Honda’s used to come off the truck, get PDI’d, and customers would be standing around waiting for them. Customers used to follow the transporters into the dealership parking lots in an attempt to secure on of the cars right off the truck. Normally they were pre-sold, but – if a customer standing there “sweetened” the deal, the car was his… the customer on “the list” be damned. At that time, Honda sold every car they could make (or import due to importation caps).

      Dealer trades: Dealer trades cost money. The dealer who receives a car he didn’t initiate the trade on, now may have a car that has miles on it and less desirable and he gained no competitive advantage. Your dealer told you a half truth… if he’s giving away a more desirable color / model, he’ll get trades all day. Keep in mind, dealers will screw each other as well. Dealer “B” (the one with the car Dealer “A” seeks) might also hold out that the customer Dealer “A” has will call around and buy it directly from him.

      There is also the issue of pre-reporting sales (aka tomb-stoning). If one of the dealers does not have the RDR card, sales credit doesn’t follow and that impacts their allocations – which, right now, are gold. Allocations are based on “turn and earn” so “pre-reporting” is common in tight inventory situations.

    • ru82 says:

      I went to a local Kia dealer a couple of weeks ago. They had 3 cars on the lot for sale.

      They were also told you cannot even make an order for most of the auto until next year, 2023. That is still 7 months away.

      The only cars they said they are really receiving are the ones made in North America (U.S. and Mexico) .

      They had 1 sale person working and the sales manager. That was the only people I say in the place.

      They told me I should buy one of the 3 sitting on the lot because they sell at MSRP and I could turn around and probably sell it and make money.

      • ru82 says:

        Also, I have been looking at a specific type of Kia the past 4 months. About a month ago they stopped selling 2022 on their website and now they cars are 2023 models. The car I was looking at was $26k for the 2022 model and now it is $29k for the 2023. A little over 10% increase.

        Crazy

  18. Jeremy says:

    Eating out is obviously more expensive than the grocery store, but restaurant prices have gone up more slowly where I live than groceries. It’s relatively somewhat cheaper to eat out than it was a couple of years ago, so we do so more often. Other people’s mileage may vary.

  19. SocalJimObjects says:

    Muppets.
    1. Americans are happy. They spend to celebrate.
    2. Americans are unhappy. They spend because spending is theurapetic.

    • phleep says:

      There is a German word: gemutlichkeit.

      To some, it means lightheartedly comfortable. Drowsy, in warm rooms, glowy. To those of my stripe, it means too comfortable. Decadent. Childish and lazy in a way that is not respectable.

  20. Bobber says:

    It’s the home price rises that make people feel wealthy. 65% of households own their home, so 65% of households have seen their net wealth rise a lot over the past decade, especially the last two years. Stock market gains are gravy.

    If the Fed wants to tackle inflation, it has to reduce stock market and housing prices prices, and it can’t be a temporary drop.

    • phleep says:

      That gave me an insight. When everybody crowds to one side of the boat, perceptions-wise, the boat will tip. It is a crowded trade. So too American wealth effect. It is faith-based, as was the NASDAQ peak and its legions of too-easy believers.

      As in ’08: God loves us, we are Americans, so wealth will just rain on us from a sunny sky.

      • historicus says:

        The Fed led a cattle drive to equities….(only place to put your money as they pounded rates)…
        and we all know what happens at the end of a cattle drive..
        The cowboys get drunk and eat steak dinners.

        • Bobber says:

          Good one. I suspect many cows out there think farmers and cowboys are their friends.

        • El Katz says:

          “I suspect many cows out there think farmers and cowboys are their friends.”

          Why not? They feed them. Provide them water to drink. Let them think they’re free to roam. Take care of their medical needs. Keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

          Oh…. wait. Sounds a lot like…..

    • top gnome says:

      People may feel the wealth effect but higher home prices only mean higher property taxes. One has to live somewhere and If you sell your house for double what you paid for it. The next house will cost twice as much. Property tax and insurance are the only winners.

      • Dan Romig says:

        top gnome,

        In Minnesota, higher taxes are not just for homes, but for cars & trucks also.

        If you buy a new or used vehicle, you pay a 8% sales tax off the bat. But for the next 11 years, there is a graduated tab fee structure to financially punish the people who drive a newer and more expensive vehicles each year they stick on the little pieces of plastic to their plates.

        1.285% of the MSRP is taken at year one for replacement tabs. Then, that is dropped by a tenth until at year eleven, there is a set rate. For me in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, that is $79.75 for my old work truck.

        But my six year old sports car that was $67,600 new (I bought it used) just cost me $343.25 for tabs. Both were due in April.

        However, if I pull the trigger on a McLaren GT for a quarter million or so, I would get to fork over the nice little sum of $3,212 for a set of plastic stickers next year. Of course, to bring it home from Chicago, I get to pay Minnesota about $20,000 in sales tax before leaving the dealer’s lot.

        Some people would say that’s the way it should be.

        But, in Florida, for example, you pay a yearly fee based on the vehicle’s weight. To me that’s what is fair, as the vehicle’s weight is more important than value when it comes to maintaining the roads. My 2006 truck should cost more than my 2016 car.

        Minnesota law is a big reason I will not replace my car until a long time down the road. Yeah, I’m in a sour mood over this.

        At least my Bianchi only cost me a grand in sales tax two years ago — for one time only — when I rode it out of the bike shop.

        • Anthony A. says:

          In Texas, I pay $70 for annual tags for each car I own, regardless of value. Plus, sales tax on new cars is 6.25%.

          However, our property tax (in our area) is 1.75% of assessed value. Could be higher or lower elsewhere in the state.

          But we have no state income tax.

          Some good, some bad, but Florida homeowner’s insurance is going off the map.

        • Ezey says:

          Just please stay in Minnesota…
          Minnesotans are moving elsewhere ([R] states) in droves… don’t louse up a new locale!

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Ezey-real-world population management problems coming to a location near you soon!

        may we all find a better day.

    • Flea says:

      Graduated high school 1976 ,packing house job @3.50$ a hour . Then lived thru 1979 -1983 very tough times ,housing down farmers going bankrupt.As song says ya ain’t seen nothin yet

  21. Ben Sargent says:

    Conversation with SIL just today he and my daughter both employed ok middle class jobs 2 kids. Refi last year for home addition and outdoor patio area on 1950 house. 250k at 3 percent 30 years.
    So he asked me today about a country club membership for the 4 of them and no one plays golf just maybe interested. 12k to join and 800 per month plus cart rentals. i talked him out of it primarily because they are too busy. But they should save and pay off debt at 32 not spend on CC.
    i then told him how i lost job in 1986 in okc oil bust lost 50 percent of home value so had to pay off mtg with personal loans no raises for years. Boom bust in all sorts of careers. The young are spending like crazy.

    • HowNow says:

      Very few remember that oil bust. States that had real estate values crater were: Alaska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and…? Totally forgotten, though.

    • John H. says:

      Excellent post, Ben Sargent. Thanks.

      Hard to “teach” experience to youth:
      “At least the old person has experienced both forms, old age as well as youth. The young have only experienced the one.”
      – Will Durant, Interview, 1975

  22. Rain says:

    The pause in Federal student loan repayments has added, at the very least, hundreds dollars of monthly disposable income to many households. When payments start back up there will be a big difference in these numbers. And, people with income-based payments will feel it the most – many got pre-inflation rises which is what the payments will be based on. It is going to be a financial bloodbath when those start up again.

  23. Isosceles says:

    I’ve been pinching pennys for months and months. This week, I started construction on my new home. I paid for half of it upfront and took out a private one-year loan for the rest of it.

    I live in a galaxy far, far away from most of you though.

    • Brant Lee says:

      I would have waited a few more months, lumber futures are dropping fast now and most likely by Fall, many materials will be more reasonable.

      But, since you live so far away, the gasoline cost is gonna hurt anyway.

  24. Finster says:

    Worth noting that retail sales as reported are not adjusted for inflation. So if retail sales were up 8.2% and prices were up 8.5%, people just spent more money for less stuff. Real sales were down.

    Of course this is only approximate since as Wolf points out, the “retail sales” that were up 8.2% were only of goods, and the CPI casts a wider net. So it might not be quite that bad. On the other hand, it could be worse. Given that wage increases also fell short of consumer price inflation, almost certainly worse.

  25. JoshWx says:

    Have to wonder how much the “buy now pay later” financing trend is fueling current levels of spending. My intuition tells me fewer and fewer people are paying all cash upfront with a surge in the number of people financing everything from TVs to sofas, kitchen appliances, etc. This method of paying over time rather than upfront enables a significantly larger volume of spending than would otherwise exist. I know people personally who not only mortgaged their home (No judgment there) but financed nearly everything inside it as well. When the next downturn/recession/apocalypse occurs, all of these monthly payment obligations will probably be the first things to default. Aside from the largest of purchases (Homes, cars) if I can’t pay cash upfront, I’m not buying it at all.

    • phleep says:

      A guy I knew was selling resort timeshares. Going like gangbusters in a gorgeous resort town, into ’08. He was taking back the paper himself so he was the bank. He told me in ’08, as soon as the downturn happened, he was the first thing everybody seemed to default on. Lost a motel project he was developing. Meanwhile he still found ways to spend on things, new boat, etc. Sank gradually into debt. Proceeded to eat, drink and smoke himself into the grave. He became a creature of the excesses of the time. He couldn’t untangle himself and his self image and lifestyle from it. He went down with that ship (and self-image): anchors sinking. His brain just couldn’t map a new landscape.

      • HowNow says:

        Maybe there should be a warning label of hazardous outcomes – a photo of that guy might serve – at the bottom of every financial contract. Or maybe an illustration with Dracula and a cluster of vampires.

      • El Katz says:

        I recall a friend who had a license plate frame on his Ferrari that read:

        “The one who dies with most toys wins”.

        My response was… they’re still dead. Guess it doesn’t matter.

    • Jeremy Wolff says:

      Wolf posts the credit spending once per month and Americans have actually been paying down debts the last two years.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Thanks, Jeremy Wolff.

      Time for a brief recap of consumer debt.

      This article covers not only the balances, but also delinquencies by loan category, forecloses, third-party collections, and bankruptcies :

      https://wolfstreet.com/2022/05/10/consumers-can-handle-fed-tightening-update-on-consumer-credit-delinquencies-foreclosures-collections-and-bankruptcies/

      Credit card balances and other revolving loans were paid down during the pandemic, and despite inflation and population growth are below where they were in 2008:

      Auto loans have soared due to much higher prices, despite much lower volume:

      Mortgages have soared due to higher home prices:

      And used of HELOCs has collapsed since 2008:

      Student loans — if they’re even still loans:

      • Not Sure says:

        This is my first post here, and I must say “Thank You Wolf” for your excellent commentary and data on so many things in the financial worlds that mainstream sources won’t dare to cover.

        There is something about those debt charts that is really striking to me… It’s the picture they paint of overall debt. So the first chart shows credit card balances and “other consumer loans” nominally near the peak of the what was previously the largest credit bubble in history. They’re a bit lower in real terms, but trending upward. Meanwhile auto loans have nearly doubled since the GFC peak, and let’s not ignore that many of those loans are sub-prime. Student loan balances are nearly 3 times what they were when the last financial crisis began to materialize. Mortgage balances are up as well.

        It’s also not clear to me if the Fed’s numbers include non-bank lenders. Shadow banking has become a huge industry, so it seems like it could be a giant blind spot in the overall picture of debt if it’s not reasonably well accounted-for in Fed data. I’m also curious to know how cash-out refi’s are tracked. Are their effects included in mortgage balances? Maybe HELOCs have fallen out of favor, but I was hearing about cash-outs almost non-stop for a while from co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Many have used low interest cash-outs as an alternative to high interest credit cards. Isn’t a cash-out refi just another way to borrow against home equity?

        Long story short, it seems like the average American’s overall debt has grown substantially overall as some types of debt have fallen off while other types of debt have exploded upward. I have to wonder how many people are going to really regret those cash-outs after they’ve defaulted on their optioned-out gas guzzling Ford F-250 or Charger SRT-8.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You have to factor in population growth over the 13 years, and income growth over the years. So the per-capita burden of debt as percent of disposable income. In that regard, consumers are in pretty good shape.

          Corporations are over-indebted. And part of this corporate debt will blow up. That’s the biggie. This includes part of the commercial real estate sector — especially retail and office.

  26. SocalJimObjects says:

    From Bloomberg: “BOE Chief Sees ‘Apocalyptic’ Risk From Soaring Food Prices”

    Srilanka coming to America this Fall. Stay tuned.

    Muppets will not be lining up in front of Best Buy this Thanksgiving.

    • HowNow says:

      Best Buy is close to its 52-week low. Something ain’t going all that well.

      • HowNow says:

        Update: As of this morning, premarket, Target is down 24%, Best Buy now 5% below its 52-week low, yesterday, Walmart got a 10% haircut, and this morning, Costco and others are seeing 5%+ drops.
        Inflation is hitting their profit margins, regardless of revenue.

  27. historicus says:

    IMO…the consumer has decided to live the same and throw the difference on the credit card.
    This will be revealed in coming reports, I predict.

    However, I do look at the golf course I frequent and see a drop of activity. Curiously, the incremental price difference to now fill up your gas tank is roughly equal to a greens fee. Discretionary vs needed spending.

  28. james wordsworth says:

    From a psychological point of view (bug in the human brain software) it is easier (mentally) to buy things if you don’t have the money.

    If I have a $1,000 in the bank and I see a new shirt, I think I’d like it but then I would have to spend some of my savings.

    If I have $1,000 on the credit card already, then what is an extra $30 to add to it. Buy it.

    It’s like many have reached the “the heck with it, I want to live now” attitude. They are so far down the hole, they have stopped caring.

    Of course at some point (eventually?) this ends in a crashing conclusion.

    • phleep says:

      I like the wonky term: deeply discounting the future.

      • phleep says:

        What worries me more is masses of young adults deciding the whole game/payoff set is not worth the effort. That is, the whole game of participating in society. If THAT music stops, look out.

        • phleep says:

          There is the lying-down movement in China. There are young women refusing marriage there, and in Japan. There is the opiate phenomenon in the USA. I cannot condemn these people. As a boomer I decided not to have family/kids. I knew the stresses would break me (and them). But I have participated in society as a productive and law-abiding member.

        • COWG says:

          “ As a boomer I decided not to have family/kids”

          As painful as they are at times, kids and grandkids, at the minimum, are proof I was really here… :)

        • Brent says:

          @COWG

          No, no, you dont understand, thats the True Spirit of the Old Corps…

          “Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a Wife, you will be issued one.”

          LTG Lewis Puller, USMC

    • Bobber says:

      There’s also a “monkey see, monkey do” factor in play. If your neighbor buys something, you feel authorized, if not entitled, to purchase something as well. Some call it keeping up with the Jones.

  29. Helmut Beintner says:

    Might as well be hung for a Dollar than a Penny, it is fee for all. The Government will “erase” a Debt. Since it is all digital. So live it up.

  30. historicus says:

    Target’s earnings reported seem to suggest that the canary in the mine shaft just hit the floor….

  31. Michael Engel says:

    Dow weekly : Jan 3 to Apr 18 high. // parallel from Feb 18 to May 9 lows. After the next lower high the Dow might breached the channel.

  32. Anthony says:

    West Texas Tea now above Brent Crude….what’s going on ?????

    • COWG says:

      The oil traders have figured out that you, indeed, can bend over a little more….

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Anthony,

      I should post a chart here on this, and maybe I will. From the mid-1980s (as far back as my Brent data goes), WTI used to be a little higher than Brent until about 2010, when fracking in the US opened up supply in the US, and the price of WTI eventually plunged (actually collapsed by 2016), and Brent plunged a lot less. Now this spread is reverting to pre-2010 normal.

  33. John H. says:

    I wonder what’s up with China’s consumer spending these days.

    Wasn’t the last decade one of falling GDP growth pace in China, but with an anticipated shift to consumer spending growth? I’m guessing with real estate woes, and covid outbreaks (and response), the consumer spending in China doesn’t match that of its US counterpart. But I’m just guessing.

    In light of China’s huge contribution to the world economy, it would be illuminating to see most recent stats on Chinese consumer spending (if one can believe them) and get some Wolf and/or commenter interpretation.

    Or was this discussed in a past post that I missed…

    • Bobber says:

      You are assuming there is reliable data. We can’t get reliable data in the US, so why would we expect it in China.

      Look at how CPI is devised to understate inflation.

      Look at retail growth numbers, then look at Target’s earnings report.

      Look at GDP growth, then ask people if they are better off than 10 years ago.

    • phleep says:

      I have heard three narratives over the last several years that have a way of stubbornly not happening:

      1) China’s shift to a reliable domestic consumer economy,

      2) Saudi and other gulf states diversifying away from oil,

      3) Emergence of a solid global, globalized middle class

  34. In my own house the 2020 stimmies made me see how much stuff was broken or worn out. Once I started replacing items the process took on its own life. None of it amounts to a material improvement, just maintaining. Thinking of a new roof, but a flat roof. Replace some old solar panels and install a battery backup.

  35. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    Run for the hill…nothing is safe anymore…target just dropped 25% today after earnings..Boeing is now back down to below March 2020 level and these are blue chipper stocks…

    Or perhaps more buy the dip opportunity? Where’s the hopium peeps at?

    • phleep says:

      Saw Target’s CEO indicating consumers shift into new stuff (out of TVs, into luggage) and away from goods in the pipeline (refrigerators, TVs) that became very expensive to ship. So the inventories are costly to ship and hold, no buyers, supply chains glued up, Target eating a lot of the surging costs. So far.

      I see a still-impulsive consumer going pedal-to-the-metal, but the (economy) vehicle has been quietly shifted into reverse and the clutch is about to be let out ….

      Impulsiveness has a cost, bigger now than usually. I wonder how much sympathy I will have for consumer bailout cries. Maturity has a cost too, but I will take that side of the bet.

  36. Propheticus says:

    Target this morning: “Sh!tshow.” Class Action Lawsuit trade locked and loaded.

    Walmart this morning: 2x “thackamuffled.”

    • The Real Tony says:

      In Canada Walmart hiked all their prices by at least 10 percent and now they have no bags to put anything in unless you pay $1.49 for a bag with handles. The bags they used to sell were a nickel apiece. The Chinese people walk out with everything in their hands none of them will pay $1.49 for a bag.

      • Anthony A. says:

        I wouldn’t pay anything for a bag either after I just bought the jacked up priced items.

      • Propheticus says:

        I paid a dollar per bag for my cloth bags and I get an eight cent rebate, per bag, each time I use one. Plastic bags at checkout were banned in my state a few years ago. Plastic bags are still available in the produce section of the store. I bring used, but clean, plastic bags with me and put them in my cloth bags. Call me the bag-holder.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Didn’t the Greenies push for banning paper bags to save trees and replace the paper ones with plastic bags?

          Pretty soon the Greenies will ask to ban cotton and polyester clothing and toothbrushes.

        • Propheticus says:

          Anthony A.,

          If and when the time comes to sell my home, I am required by the city, to have an energy audit – at my expense – be completed before I can list my home.

        • Anthony A. says:

          @Propheticus, really? An energy audit? Why is this required?

        • Propheticus says:

          Anthony A.,

          From the city’s website:

          “…must obtain and disclose a Home Energy Score and Report before publicly listing the home for sale.”

          “A Home Energy Score produces an energy efficiency rating, much like miles per gallon (MPG) for vehicles, for a single-family home. It assesses the home’s structure, heating and cooling systems, and other energy-related features to produce an efficiency score.”

          “What information does a Home Energy Score Report provide?

          A score from one to 10 with 10 being the most efficient
          Estimated annual energy cost including a breakdown of the costs for each energy utility
          A list of possible priority energy saving measures to reduce energy use and cost
          Estimated carbon reduction, energy and cost savings if the measures are completed
          Carbon footprint — tons of carbon the home produces annually”

          There’s more going in this town, but let’s just leave it at that.

  37. SoCalBeachDude says:

    Once the Dow (DJIA 30) starts falling a couple of thousand points per day, it should get back in the normal, proper, and reasonable price range of around 3,000 rather quickly and America can begin its recovery.

    Dow 31,926.96 -727.63 -2.23%
    S&P 500 3,983.42 -105.43 -2.58%
    Nasdaq 11,654.06 -330.47 -2.76%
    GlobalDow 3,773.78 -51.89 -1.36%
    Gold 1,813.50 -5.40 -0.30%
    Oil 110.90 -1.50 -1.33%

  38. SoCalBeachDude says:

    Target is on target for a nice speedy correction in excessive price today and so far is down around 25%. Another 80% fall will get it where it should be rather quickly and wonderfully.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I remember the last time Target was in trouble and the stock was around $50. Maybe it will drift back to there again.

  39. Nemo 300 BLK says:

    I just met with my banker neighbor, a senior loan guy for the biggest community bank in the area.

    We were talking about general inflation and recession indicators when he mentioned he goes through the insufficient funds lists each morning. He has some discretion on whether to charge bank clients with a fee or not. He looks deeper into their accounts at payroll deposits to see what’s going on and if this was accidental or chronic, and his odds of giving them a non-collateral loan for the next two or four weeks.

    He said, more times than not, a big check such as a mortgage or car payment was deducted the day before a bi-weekly or monthly payroll deposit.

    He said the scary thing is he’s seeing is that after the NSSF gets cleaned up, many people have $200 or left to get by the next two or four weeks. His guess is, that since we live in a rural area, parents or some other family is helping these people get by.

    Scary times and they have only just begun.

  40. Jon says:

    Wolf’s thinking that cannabis sales is from people who used to buy it illegally makes a great deal of sense.

    But I think a lot of the sales is for CBD oil. People are finding it to be a great sleeping aid and an all-around method for relaxation. CBD oil has doubled in price at my local Vitamin store.

    • rick m says:

      Jon- a significant amount of legal dispensary sales of cannabis and THC edibles in those states that allow it are exported to prelegal states for illicit distribution at a good markup. It’s highly taxed, no pun intended, in legal states and the illegal stuff is cheaper there now so your local hookup probably still works pretty much wherever you are. Lots of Michigan, Massachusetts, Colorado, California packaging showing up on the Gulf Coast. It’s really not feasible to prevent personal cultivation if the state’s in the get-high business too. Perhaps amateurs will ruin the market, as they’ve done to one illegal bit of fun after another.
      I should try CBD, haven’t yet. Doubling the price seems gratuitous, but there’s a lot of that going on and it’s not slowing down. Everyone got a note from the doctor excusing them from self-denial.

  41. David Hall says:

    People retiring early on stock market gains might have to rethink their strategy.

    • TheFalcon says:

      You can ask them about their strategy in 2024 when they greet you at Target.

  42. Michael Engel says:

    AAPL closed May 12/13 gap.

  43. Michael Engel says:

    E mini Dow look like bloody shit, under May 16 low, but the vol is Kakki.
    It might change by the end of the day.
    Option #1 : cont down.
    Otion #2 : pumping muscles to close the gap above, May
    6/9, or even …for entertainment only.

  44. SoCalBeachDude says:

    Walmart’s stock suffers biggest 2-day selloff since 1987

    • Brant Lee says:

      Dang, I remember that, but it came back fast. Everyone in Arkansas had Walmart stock. Many early Walmart cash register workers retired wealthy. Those were the good ol days.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Because of Sam Walton far shore BL!
        Told a cashier at his store yesterday that if he were still around, the minor ”glitch” on the display of the 33% deduction for an item on sale would be fixed in a Ark can sass minute — OWKA a day or two, instead of the months it takes these days…

  45. SoCalBeachDude says:

    Dow drops 950 points Wednesday as stocks swoon

  46. ru82 says:

    Fed is doing a good job at reducing the inflation in the Stock Markets. ;)

    Keep going down!

    • ru82 says:

      Some of the hotel chains stocks had still been in an uptrend until the past week or two. Just 3 weeks ago they were hitting all time highs. Hilton and Marriot just broke down. There might be some meat on those bones.

  47. TheFalcon says:

    And this is just the early rounds where the market is getting hit with jabs to the chin. The big body blows and uppercuts are coming later. Then housing is going to enter the ring to receive its licks.

    • ru82 says:

      Go look at charts on emerging markets like EEM ETF or Asian ETFs like EWY for S. Korea. They all peaked in Feb 2021 and have been in a downtrend since then. More than a year. The US has a ways to go.

  48. Anthony A. says:

    I wonder if Powell will get a bunch of “Great Job!” emails today?

    • VintageVNvet says:

      If you meant that sarcastically AA, IMO the answer is YES…
      Or maybe threats to try to convince him to stop the SMs falling as they did today, eh?
      DOW down 1164, others even larger percentages.
      Still a long way to go to reach any kind of ”normal” levels,
      and certainly some short position temptation;;; BUT/however, who the heck can foretell what this crazy FRB and US Treasury might do next except ”the insiders” allowed to trade without regard to any insider trading rules and regulations.

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