Consumers Aren’t Buying The “Better Economy” Talk
Earlier today, I was in the presence of someone who’s fairly knowledgeable about investing. However, when he said “the market determines whether the economy is good or not, and it’s almost back,” I wanted to cringe. How he could make a statement like that when there are so many other factors fighting against it was stunning.
Sure, the market has increased more than 3,000 points since it hit its low back in February. And people who have been able to ride out the market are seeing their money increasing again. Even oil is back up, which is actually more irritating than anything else, but so be it.
But unemployment it still high, even with the recent .1% increase which I believe was just a blip. Today it was announced that the number of people who filed for unemployment last week jumped another 4,000 jobs. They also announced that retail sales figures fell, which stunned them, by .1%, and overall sales decreased by .6%. Heck, even Walmart sales fell the second quarter of the year, something else that wasn’t expected since many analysts said they believed more people would shop at stores like Walmart because of their low prices.
You know what else fell? Vacations and travel, mainly because the price of gas jumped 6.3% In June. This led to a 2.1% decrease in sales at gas stations.
You know, at some point someone is going to face the facts that we’re not totally out of this recession yet, and some hard choices have to be made. I wrote last week about spending being up and income being down and how I believed it was just a fluke in the numbers about the spending, and it seems to have been validated. It’s time for some real options. It’s too bad no one from the government decided to look at my plan for turning the economy around. If they had, this conversation about health care reform might be a moot point at this juncture.
Nah. It doesn’t matter overall, though. The American consumer isn’t buying that the economy is better, more job losses might be just around the corner, gas is going to keep going sky high, we’re being taken advantage of by our utility companies, and bread is now over $3 a loaf. I thought I’d add that one because my wife complained about it when she got home the other day, and I hadn’t been paying attention to the riding cost of foodstuffs. I also made my first stop at KFC since last year, and found that a 2-piece chicken dinner is now over $6.50; I can buy an entire cooked chicken at Wegmans for $4.99.
No sir, consumers aren’t buying the “better economy” talk at all. Someone call me; I have ideas.