Tuesday, March 3, 2020

US consumers . . . still consuming

 - by New Deal democrat

Aside from sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for partial motor vehicle sales from February to be reported later, there’s no economic news of note today.

But Tuesday mornings each week we do get chain store sales from the previous week. And if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I have been paying particular attention to these for signs that the producer downturn is spreading to consumers. That has taken on more urgency as we wait to see if coronavirus fears cause people to self-quarantine.

And the answer is . . . not so far!

Redbook chain store sales for last week were up +5.9% YoY.
Retail Economist chain store sales for last week were up +2.1% YoY.

Both of these numbers are right in line with each survey’s typical YoY growth for the past few months. 

On the producer side, we might see some impact in YoY rail and steel numbers later this week. 

But on the consumer side, people continue to look on the bright side of life.