Janet Yellen and orthodox economists claim that the economy can only be gaining, and that word is taken, on faith, as if some updated, modern gold standard for meaning. No matter the contrary in actual evidence and observation, the “word” remains as if diktat were the only employ. It has produced some very strange dichotomies, particularly of late, where those within that economic cage are struggling mightily and obviously to find some kind of consistency with it all. It has led to an Orwellian deployment of qualifications and words quite contrary to their established meaning.
For one, apparently the American economy cannot withstand anything but the fattest, meatiest part of the Bell Curve for temperature. Anything outside of a narrow range in weather (which, if you are paying attention, is what weather actually is) and somehow economists and their media parrots become disenthralled and unhinged. We all know about the constant appeal, three winters in a row, of cold and snow and vortices of some blusterous nature, but now warm weather has been assigned the same depressive instincts. I wish I were making this up, for it does not suggest anything good about the economy nor the state of the commentary class that still clings to Yellen’s desperate narrative no matter how much and how deeply actual observation moves sharply against it all.
As expected, balmy October days failed to inspire people to shop for winter coats, but the retail sales results were even a little worse than forecast. The Thomson Reuters Same Store Sales Index actual result for October 2015 showed no change, missing its final estimate of a 0.3% gain. Excluding drug stores, the SSS Index registered a -0.2% comp for October, missing its 0.1% final estimate.
It’s important to note that these results are not final, as the Gap will report October SSS on Nov. 9. However, 75% of retailers missed estimates, hit by lower gasoline prices, the effect of a strong U.S. dollar and the warmer-than-usual weather. [emphasis added]
A negative same store sales index register is recession, but Yellen has declared that all “transitory” so the people at Reuters are left making a mockery of their own work. Worse, Thompson Reuters just over a week ago, in projecting the alarming re-appearance of negative retail figures in its own index, even stated that a negative was consistent with recession:
During the first recession, in 2001, the index dipped below the 3% healthy mark and remained within the 0% – 3.0% range. Then, the SSS Index recuperated nicely afterwards and consumer spending remained within the 2% to 5% monthly growth during 2002 – 2007, for the most part. Subsequently, the index dropped to its lowest level ever during the Great Recession (Dec 2007 – June 2009). Since, then the index has fluctuated as consumer behavior has changed since the Great Recession. The index also started to dip into negative levels similar to the Great Recession. [emphasis added]
You can see the logical strain just in the progression of that paragraph, where once low and negative results were recession but now as if “consumer behavior has changed since the Great Recession” can address the recurrence. The Yellen/economist narrative can only be registered as something like a cult, for it makes otherwise quite sensible people doubt their very own observations and conclusions. Again, Thompson Reuters SSSI clearly shows something very much amiss, both in recent context and historically so. Continue reading