Do you feel the renewed optimism and excitement of our fellow citizens from the economic boom we are experiencing? Have you gone out and bought items beyond staples? Fun things? Gone on spur of the moment lavish vacations?
Michelle Obama thinks the economy is doing just fine, thank you very much. Mrs. Obama said, “I mean, we are seeing right now that we are in the midst of a huge recovery. Right? Because of what this president has done.”
She was replying to a question by Pablo Sato, co-host of Pablo & Free on WPGC 95.5, a Washington, D.C.-area hip-hop radio station Friday. Sato asked, “Mrs. Obama, you know what, in your words, tell us what you think the state of the union is in right now?”
After you stop laughing and pull yourself off the floor, there’s more. Mrs. Obama credited her husband who “Pulled this economy from the brink of collapse when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Now were gaining every – throughout most of his presidency, we’ve been adding jobs to this economy because of what he’s been doing. The stock market has doubled. Housing prices are rising. Foreclosure rates are lowering. But in the face of that, you still have people trying to convince us that things aren’t better.”
Would those people be some of the 23 million Americans who are still looking for a job? Or millions more who live in fear of firing? Would they be the shoppers who go to the grocery store and find prices so high they can only come back with half the stuff on their list? Or would they be those who go to the gas station and drop $100 on fuel that will only get them through one week? Or people who have seen their insurance costs rise $2,000 since Obama took charge? Or the elderly who find it hard to make it on their meager Social Security?
I guess there are the naive ones who actually believe that we are at 7.8% unemployment. Those who don’t want to look too hard behind the numbers flashed to us without any backup. How about the GDP that has declined to a pitiful 1.3%? According to her, this is good growth.
This morning, the Pollyannas at liberal media outlets celebrated a retail sales increase for September. Leave it to Zerohedge blog to put it in perspective.
Just when we thought we may finally get one decent economic data point which even we could get excited about, we decided to look at the Non-Seasonally Adjusted September retail sales data. After all the $4.7 billion seasonal increase in headline retail sales was the second highest ever (in absolute terms, second only to 2004). Turns out our curiosity was an enthusiasm-dowsing mistake, as a number which on the surface looked good, was hardly validated by the Not-Seasonally Adjusted number, which plunged by $31.9 billion. How does this September sequential change compare to previous years?
If anything, the 2012 spread of SA vs NSA retail change is most comparable to that from September 2007. As a reminder, this is 2 months before the 2nd Great Depression officially started.