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The Consumer is Toast

The media has been hyping the consumer is still strong nonsense for many, many months now. To the point that has become nauseating propaganda which makes sane people laugh who exist in the “other” 90% of the US economy.

Even the idiot who makes Ben Bernanke seem sane said this a few weeks ago.

Uh, no slick, it’s the consumer spending more of their disposable income to stay alive and using their credit cards to buy basic necessities and pay things like utility bills because your idiotic central bank refuses to end inflation by beginning actual deflation via a strong course of action.

People do not want to hear about weakness in the consumer even though the average person sees it in the grocery store or their own homes on a weekly basis.

Even Supermarket News, an industry website, has picked up on the latest trend as inflation ravages households:

Seafood sales are sluggish despite improving economy

What improving economy????????

From the article:

“Even though seafood has seen very little inflation overall, there hasn’t been the demand uptick one would normally see in response,” she said. “Fewer people are buying fresh seafood, and those who are buying it are doing so less often.”

(emphasis mine)

Yes, we’re doing so less often because in some place offerings like fresh Chilean Sea Bass is up to $36.95 per pound you idiots.

In fact food prices across the board are jumping as the industry headlines indicate.

Record chicken prices squeeze US shoppers, benefit Tyson Foods

Sticker Shock: Consumer beef prices on the rise as supply tightens

A Report Suggests Rising Beef Prices Are Causing Restaurant ‘Burgerflation’

And on and on it goes. So if food prices are skyrocketing, health care prices skyrocketing, used car prices still higher than the price for new cars just four years ago, then where in the world are the consumers going to find money to spend on anything outside of necessities.

In fact the National Retail Federation has provided a warning shot with their own warnings about import cargo data and projections for this year; which means a very dour Christmas season.

From the NRF website:

“Cargo volumes will still be strong the rest of the year, but not as high as we expected a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers stocked up early this year as a safeguard against supply chain labor issues and are well-situated to meet consumer demand. Shoppers are spending more than they did last year, but the rate of growth we’ve seen the past couple of years has slowed and retailers are working to strike the right balance of supply and demand.”

(emphasis mine)

In other words, the consumer’s dollar does not go as far as it did last year due to inflation. As a matter of fact and reality, it has been that way all year.

There is a singular chart, not produced by the BEA or BLS which produces the big warning about the consumer. If one adjusts retail sales for inflation, in other words real dollars spent on goods, for the last five years it is not such a pretty picture.

Reviewing the data from that perspective, witnessing the increase in defaults, delinquencies, late credit payments and soon housing issues, one can only conclude that by the start of 2023, the much vaunted “consumer” which has been carrying this economy on it’s back is toast.

Now the bills are coming due.

Buckle up.

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