US Economy Looks Like Hell
It's all on the proverbial ride in a hand basket right now.
Things are looking terrible for the economy. Home Depot, a bellwether for the housing market and the general state of the US consumer, took its deepest dive in twenty years, and the major home retailer forecasts low results ahead as well, saying consumers are delaying projects as they tighten their belts.
Correspondingly credit card use is way up, according to today’s news, in a way that indicates consumers are using their credit cards as cheap payday loans. People are paying their balances off each month but using them a lot more, so managing to avoid the interest but feeling stretched from month to month. One video in the headlines tells of twenty ways the consumer is feeling stretched, and the Home Depot results and ramp-up in short-term credit-card use would seem to verify that.
To the positive, homebuilder sentiment was up, but their feelings seem a bit out of synch with the rest of economic reports. For example, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, one of the big watches on the condition of manufacturing in the US, did even worse than Home Depot and posted an all-out month-on-month crash. It was expected to fall less than 4%, and plunged, instead, 40% into deeply negative territory. It was the hardest crash since the Covidcrisis lockdowns all but destroyed the economy, requiring the greatest Fed money printing and largest government stimulus in history to save us from ourselves.
So, it looks like, as I wrote in my own article linked to below, everything is going according to plan for the Fed, which means the same as going to hell.
Meanwhile, Speaker McCarthy gave no sign of hopes for today’s debt-ceiling talks, saying he sees “no progress” and that talks are likely “to get rough” from this point forward. As I noted in my last article, the US does not have to get to the point of actual default before US credit gets downgraded. Downgrades are supposed to happen BEFORE defaults actually happen if credit agencies are honest and on the ball. So, if today’s talks go nowhere …
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