The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK ( Bullion Bulls Canada) -- It has become increasingly difficult to engage in credible economic analysis, especially with respect to the U.S. economy. The problem: ever more limited sources of uncorrupted data, while the farcical "official statistics" have long since been totally divorced from the real world.
Fortunately we have been presented with some raw, uncorrupted data that demonstrates in conclusive terms that the U.S. economy is literally shriveling before our eyes: a 21st century economy with plummeting energy consumption, and even a declining use of electricity.
...American companies also bought more consumer household items, automobiles and parts, and crude oil from overseas. Exports increased 0.7% to $178.8 billion, boosted by record sales of petroleum to buyers overseas. That caused the trade gap excluding petroleum to widen even more than the deficit overall...The great U.S. economy, the largest oil-glutton in the history of humanity (by several multiples) is now a " net energy exporter". How can this be possible? The U.S. economy has contracted so severely (already) that the only way that U.S. refineries can sell all the petroleum products they produce is to sell them to the growing economies of "emerging market" nations. Reflecting the broad-based collapse of the U.S. economy, these refineries are now exporting all categories of petroleum products: diesel, jet fuel, and even gasoline are now being exported in large quantities, month-after-month by U.S. refineries. Recall that it was only four, short years ago that many American politicians were alarmed by the crisis of the "lack of U.S. refining capacity." No new refineries have been constructed in the U.S. in more than 30 years, and at that time those refineries were straining to meet the demand of solely the U.S. domestic market. With that domestic market collapsing, these refineries are now straining to find enough foreign buyers to unload all of their inventories.