Monday, June 20, 2016

"$271 billion in total business sales officially disappear: Census" = Fake Federal Statistics

"Total business sales in the US did in April what they’ve been doing since July 2014: they dropped: -2.9% from a year ago... That’s where sales had been in April 2013!

This is a barometer of just how tough business has become in the US.

...Sales by manufacturers dropped 4.7% year-over-year to $453.7 billion, not seasonally adjusted; sales by retailers rose 2.1% to $394.3 billion; and sales by merchant wholesalers dropped 5.3% to $430.6 billion.

Among wholesalers, sales in the biggest durable-goods categories all dropped year-over-year: automotive -4.1%, professional equipment -0.7% (including computer equipment -6.6%), electrical equipment -7.4%, and machinery -2.2%.

Non-durables did just as badly, except for drugs, which rose 2.9%..., based on rampant price increases by state-protected monopolistic structures...

...big pharma needs [free market] competition!

...the outcome can be a little, let’s say, inaccurate.

...Economic data like this is collected via surveys with relatively small sample sizes. The results are run through an economic sausage maker to produce presentable data...

...the Census Bureau revised total business sales...

...the March 15 data, as bad as it seemed at the time, was actually a lot worse. The old data set had overstated total business sales every month by billions of dollars going back to February 2014... In that light, today’s revised data looks a lot worse.

...Turns out after the revisions, January sales had been the lowest since October 2012! And they’d first reached that level in April 2012.

...The chart shows the old data (red line) and the revised data (black line), seasonally adjusted. Note how the original data was consistently higher:

In sum total, the revision going back to January 2014 slashed the original data by $271 billion. That’s a lot of sales for a 28-month period that suddenly didn’t happen.

...future revisions will knock them down further.

The crummy story doesn’t end here. ...over the four-year period, the Consumer Price Index increased 4.2%. So in real terms, chop off another piece of that miserable sales pie.

Since April 2012, the US population has grown by 3.1%. So figure in the additional people plus 4.2% inflation over the period, to get real per-capita business sales. From that perspective, they’re a true fiasco.

That’s why the economy feels so terrible for tens of millions of Americans who’ve not been able to scramble on the Fed’s wealth-effect gravy train — the real per capita who experience the economy as it really is."