Retail Sales are "Trumping" the Optics
Retail sales fell the most this last month in more than 11 months. The report showed a -.3 percent decrease. What's worse, the .4 percent increase in December was revised downward to 0.0 percent.
A few takeaways from this report. First, riddle me this! If we have such a strong economy, which are the optics that the Trump administration wants you to believe, why would retail sales be decreasing? Second, why would they be this bad during the supposedly strong Christmas shopping season both pre and post?
As always, don't take me as a Trump hater. I am glad he is President and is certainly better than the alternative. At the same time, he comes with his downsides. He is selling the optics of a strong economy and everything that he is doing is the greatest since the beginning of time (no lack of sensationalism with this President). What happens to the market when the market finds out that the emperor has no clothes?
He literally spoke his Presidency into existence with the most masterfully run campaign ever. Unfortunately, I think that he is going to find that he can't speak a broken economy into a strong one. Be careful of believing the optics. Remember the last tally shows that 52% of the 2.4 million jobs (through December 17) he has created were based on government estimates. Do you really trust government estimates?
With optics he has to create flashy solutions. Everything has to be "big league." Take for instance the tax cuts. We can't afford it and the jury is still out how the net effects of that will effect growth in a weak economy. While creating optics and flashy programs, I am afraid that he is missing the real opportunity which is to provide real solutions and the opportunity to bridge the great divide in our country.
Let's hope he is right and we just don't see it. Well, everyone but Wall Street who is always willing to drink the Kool-Aid.