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The McDonald's Economic Index

Stocks in this article: MCD

As noted previously, this is a drop in sales revenue, and thus does not factor in soaring inflation. As I've mentioned in several recent commentaries , as recently as the month of July the World Bank was reporting global food inflation increasing by 10% in one month alone.

As a low-margin food producer, McDonald's is forced to pass along that inflation to its customers in the form of higher prices. While I doubt very much that McDonald's has hit its customers with any sort of across-the-board 10% increase in menu prices in October, clearly food inflation would have forced prices higher by at least a couple percentage points -- effectively doubling the (real) size of this one-month plunge.

With the U.S. propaganda machine blaming every form of U.S. economic weakness on Hurricane Sandy, let me repeat that these are October numbers, and thus cannot be blamed on the hurricane, which struck at the end of the month.

As a discretionary form of (relatively) low-cost consumption McDonald's sales also make a reasonably good proxy for GDP. With that in mind we can now take a closer look at these numbers to see what else can be gleaned.

The obvious question is what are we to make of the fact that sales in McDonalds' only "growth market" (with growing economies) declined by an even greater amount than sales in its established, dying markets? What we see is a crystal-clear illustration of how money printing by global central banks (and primarily Western central banks) is destroying the global economy.

"Inflating the money supply" is the actual, original definition of inflation, and all price inflation (what we now simplistically label "inflation") is directly derived from that money printing . Inflation destroys both wealth and incomes since the currencies in which our wealth/incomes are denominated are being relentlessly driven to zero via the hideous euphemism "competitive devaluation."

We see this banker-produced inflation not only decimating the crippled, debt-bloated economies of the West but it has now reached such a rapacious rate that it is causing the healthier, dynamic economies of the rest of the world to sag as well.

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