June 9, 2015

Wholesale Sales: Down Year-Over-Year for the Fourth Month in a Row (‘Recessionary Warning’?)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:53 am

From the Census Bureau:

Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that April 2015 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $448.3 billion, up 1.6 percent (+/-0.7) from the revised March level, but were down 3.3 percent (+/-1.4%) from the April 2014 level. The March preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.6 billion or 0.1 percent.

Inventories. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $576.9 billion at the end of April, up 0.4 percent (+/-0.4%)* from the revised March level and were up 4.5 percent (+/-1.4%) from the April 2014 level. The March preliminary estimate was revised upward $0.2 billion.

This is the fourth straight month of declining year-over-year sales:


This indicates that the early-month wholesale economy in 2015 was significantly smaller than it was in 2014. Wholesale sales are roughly 30 percent of GDP (about $5.5 trillion out of $17.7 trillion).

The above is evidence that the reported first-quarter GDP decline is, if anything, still understated.

Meanwhile, April 2015 seasonally adjusted inventories were up 4.5 percent from April 2014 despite a related sales decline of 3.32 percent. If you were running a business, unless you somehow knew that sales were going to come back, you’d be cutting inventories, not expanding them.


UPDATE: Zero Hedge, with an accompanying graph, calls the continued year-over-year sales declines a “recessionary warning.”

UPDATE 2: Seasonally adjuted sales are down 4.4 percent from their July 2014 peak.

NewsBusted (060915)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 10:19 am

Here we go:

– American Pharaoh
– President Obama
– Al Sharpton
– FIFA Scandal
– Global Warming Data
– Mississippi
– New Jersey Cop Shooting
– Dennis Rodman
– Caitlyn Jenner

Best Lines:

  • “President Obama is taking credit for once again making the United States the most respected country on earth. Is he kidding? America’s not even the most respected country in the Obama White House.”
  • “The FIFA bribery scandal continues to make headlines, which isn’t suprising. Soccer scandals are infinitely more intresting than soccer iteself.”
  • “Once again, scientists have been caught manipulating data in recent global warming reports. They claim they had no choice but to fudge the data, because previous records were stored on Hillary Clinton’s hard drive.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060915)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: The Eucharist teaches us to care for the weakest of society, Pope Francis says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 7, 2015 / 08:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis focused on the recent feast of Corpus Christi, saying the Eucharist is a “school of solidarity and charity,” which inspires us to care for the most vulnerable.

This feast, the Roman Pontiff said June 7 at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, “evokes this message of solidarity, and pushes us to welcome the intimate invitation to conversion and to service, to love and to forgiveness.”

In our daily lives, we encounter Christ, who nourishes us in the Eucharist, in the poor, the suffering, our brothers, and “in every human being, even the smallest and most defenseless.”

The roman Pontiff reflected on the feast’s Gospel, which recounts the institution of the Eucharist during Christ’s Last Supper before his crucifixion.

That night, Christ said that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will “remain in me and I in him,” and will have eternal life.

“With this gesture and with these words, he gives bread a function that is no longer simply physical nourishment, but that which makes present his Person amid the community of believers.”

The Pope added that the Last Supper marks the end of Christ’s life, looking ahead to his death on the Cross, but also to the synthesis of “a life offered for the salvation of humanity.”

For this reason, it is not enough to affirm Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, the Pope said, but recognize it as “the presence of a life given, and take part.”

By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, taking part in his life and entering into communion with him, we in turn are called to promote unity among ourselves, transforming “our life into a gift,” especially to the poor. …

Go here for the rest of the story.