September 15, 2016

Kaepernick Effect? Week 1 NFL Ratings Down Significantly from 2015

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 12:03 pm

One of the great mysteries surrounding the controversy over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit (or kneel) through the National Anthem at the beginning of his team’s games (while wearing socks during practices depicting police as pigs) has been the National Football League’s nonchalant response.

Perhaps the league thought that the matter would blow over in a week or two if it indulged Kaepernick, which it certainly did with its “it’s his right” response, accompanied by no visible reminder that his actions and the actions of other players havef the potential to damage the league’s standing, reputation and popularity. The league also must have thought that Kaepernick’s protest wouldn’t be imitated by other players. This was a major miscalculation, and it’s showing signs of hurting the league where it really counts — in the pocketbook.


August 2016 Retail Sales: Another Clunker; -0.3 Pct. Overall, -0.1 Ex-Auto

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:01 am

From the Census Bureau:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $456.3 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, and 1.9 percent (±0.7%) above August 2015. Total sales for the June 2016 through August 2016 period were up 2.4 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The June 2016 to July 2016 percent change was revised from virtually unchanged (±0.5%)* to up 0.1 percent (±0.2%)*.

Expectations were for -0.1 percent overall and +0.3 perecent ex-auto.

So third-quarter retail sales through two months are down 0.2 percent — actually more, when looking at the reported numbers (August’s $456.321 billlion divided by June’s $457.409 billion is a 0.256 percent decline, which rounds to -0.3 percent).

We’re still waiting for the so-called rebound in consumer retail spending to appear. Here’s why it hasn’t, and probably won’t for quite a while:


There’s no money left after paying astorimically higher healthcare-related costs which have pushed onto middle-income Americans at an unprecedented level.

This is “Why Almost No One in the Real World Believes That Overall U.S. Living Standards Have Improved.”

Thanks, Obamacare.


UPDATE: Zero Hedge —

Having warned that retail sales could be weak (based on BofA’s credit card data), year-over-year growth in retail sales rose just 1.9% (its weakest since March’s plunge) and worryingly in historical recession territory. MoM data was disappointing across the entire spectrum

Initial Unemployment Claims (091516): 260K SA; Raw Claims (193K) Down 3 Pct. From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

Nothing new here. Slo-mo economy gives rise to slo-mo data.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091516)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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.