In response to GDPNow Rises to 0.3% Following Dismal Retail Sales and Inventory Reports; Fed vs. Fed Update I received a nice email from reader Tibor.

Tibor writes “Hey Mish, Just wanted to thank you for being one of the sanest, if not sanest, economic skeptics out there. Most of the pundits on the bear side would bark at the moon for a fortnight about how corrupt the Atlanta fed update was this morning. Sales down, but GDPNow ticks up?! Impossible! Scam! In contrast, you probably pegged the most reasonable explanation in the 4th sentence of your post. Thanks for not being the typical econ-conspiracy blogger spewing BS to placate the simpletons. I hope you get credit for your measured critiques.”

Thanks Tibor.

He was commenting on my thoughts: “I expected a dip to -0.3% because inventories and sales were both down. … We have seen these kinds of results before, so this is not shocking. Most likely, the numbers were factored into preliminary reports and today’s numbers were slightly better than expected.”

Let’s now take a look at a series of charts to see how dismal (or not) things are.

Total Business Sales

BI2

Manufacturers Sales

BI3

Retailer Sales

BI5

Merchant Wholesalers: Inventories to Sales Ratio

BI4

Total Business Sales Percent Change From Year Ago

BI6

Total Business Sales Detail

BI7

Possible Conclusions

  1. Sufficient momentum for rate hikes as soon as April
  2. It’s different this time!
  3. One and Two
  4. We are in recession
  5. Don’t worry, it’s the weather

Mike “Mish” Shedlock