The unidentified author of a blog called The Burning Platform called attention to one unusual aspect of official U.S. consumer spending figures for December. (I realize all government reports are to be taken with a grain of salt, but bear with us.)
Spending on overall retail and food services was up 2.2% year-over-year, led by vehicles and furniture, sectors where the average guy or gal still has easy access to credit. Spending at department stores was down 2.1% as Internet retailers made more gains.
From the blog: “Despite the propaganda from the media and happy talk from the Liar-in-Chief, the country is currently in a recession and the Fed has no ammo to fake another recovery. We are going down and going down hard. When 70% of your economy is based on Americans buying sh** from China on credit cards, a dramatic slowdown in consumer spending equals recession. … We’ve arrived.”
Chances are unless you are in D.C. or a wealthy suburb full of bureaucrats and lobbyists, this rings true.
Now to the odd part. Sales at bars and restaurants were up 6.7%.
The Burning Platform’s take: “My wife is a waitress at a restaurant/sports bar and business was booming in December and continues to be good in January. My thesis … is that people are so miserable about the economy in general and the direction of the country (reflected in Trump’s support), they have decided to drink and eat, for tomorrow we die. Dining out or getting loaded at a bar takes your mind off your troubles for a few hours.”
We report, you decide. Who are you going to believe, CNBC or your lying eyes?