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Black Friday Mirage Hides U.S. Retail Depression

Even though U.S. shoppers were lethargic on Black Friday itself (when supposedly the best of the bargains are available); we're led to believe they went on a "spending" rampage after Black Friday. But here we see the propaganda machine moving the goal posts. "Total spending" is not the same thing as "retail sales."

Going to a movie, or a bar, or a restaurant over the course of a long week-end is not "retail sales." Clearly the propaganda machine is now pumping "total spending over the Black Friday weekend" to hide another Black Friday Massacre for U.S. retailers. As noted earlier, with actual retail sales flat (at best), this means that U.S. retailers sold between 10% and 20% less goods than one year ago. But that's only the latest in a series of horrendous numbers.

In October , U.S. retail sales fell 0.3% that month alone -- and without accounting for inflation. Translate that into an annualized figure, adjust for inflation and in the month prior to Black Friday U.S. retail sales were plummeting lower at an annualized rate somewhere between 13.6% and 23.6%.

Go a little further back and the numbers are even worse. Official retail sales fell for three consecutive months from April through June, again without adjusting for inflation. That's an entire quarter of actual U.S. retail sales plummeting downward at a double-digit (annual) rate.

Meanwhile, in the surreal world of U.S. economic statistics; the propaganda machine itself regularly informs us that consumption is directly/indirectly responsible for 80% of U.S. GDP. With retail sales (the largest component of consumption) plummeting downward at a double-digit rate; it's a mathematical impossibility for the U.S. economy to be generating positive GDP growth.

Of course since official U.S. GDP calculations are deflated with the same fantasy numbers the U.S. government uses in its CPI calculation; U.S. GDP statistics are equally as accurate as U.S. inflation numbers -- which is to say that they have no connection to the real world.

It must be noted that the collapse in the quantity of goods being sold by U.S. retailers is only one component of this U.S. retail depression. With wholesale costs soaring, and with U.S. consumers never having so little disposable income, profit margins for most retailers are being steadily squeezed.

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