AM Economics: I'm so sick and tired of hearing about those darn "Green Shoots"
I'm all fired up this morning. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about those darn talking heads on television talking about evidence of "green shoots" in the economy. Green freaking shoots. It's annoying. If I hear one more person say it I might pull a Van Gogh and rip my ears off.
Whew that feels better. I have no problem with analysts looking for signs that an economic recovery might be starting, but for some reason that overused phrase just drives me nuts.
I'm not one of those doom and gloom permabears, but I strongly believe that when the U.S. economy does eventually reach a bottom, and make no mistake about it...it eventually will, but I think that we are headed for a multi-year period of slow to no growth in the United States.
Two numbers on the economy were published this morning. Both of them were worse than expected.
First, March retail sales "unexpectedly" dropped 1.1% in March. Unemployment is high and rising, consumer confidence still stinks, the savings rate is rising, taxes are rising, and the home equity ATM is closed. Who on Earth expected retail sales to rise? I personally don't find the drop in retail sales the least bit surprising. Retail sales fall unexpectedly in March
Second, the Labor Department published the March PPI (Producer Price Index) this morning. It dropped by 1.2% in March. I still see absolutely no evidence of that inflation that everyone is so worried about. Deflation is more likely than inflation to be the near-term problem.
I agree that inflation will eventually arrive. It always does and it is in the interest of the people who control the money supply for some inflation to exist. However, I expect prices to continue to fall in the short run. Inflation might be a couple of years away.