{Reuters} US consumer sentiment drops again in November, inflation expectations rise

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It sounds like it is going to get UGLY out there.

From a report in the Business Journal on 10/31

" A survey of 1,500 small business CEOs by CEO advisory firm Vistage found just 48% planned on hiring in the next 12 months, the lowest percentage in the past 10 years except for the second quarter of 2020…"

One of my suppliers just sent out a message today that they are LOWERING their minimum order requirement from $600 to $250. When is the last time that anyone saw a minimum requirement go DOWN?


An analysis of earnings reports issued by major retailers this month shows that their inventories are down, pretty much across the board.

The goal for this Christmas season is profit, not sales volume.

I don’t know if we are seeing the full effects of Chinese deflation yet.

And is the EV industry about to crash, in spite of big subsidies?

And what about the recent article featured on Yahoo which points to several years of losses for investors in long time Treasury bonds.

An argument can be made that these are unique economic times, where many of the old rules do not apply.


I believe it. Inflation is killing us personally. I can’t believe how much cash we burned through this year in this house.

Other than an unexpected $3K car repair on my wife’s SUV (almost all maintenance), we didn’t have any other surprises and somehow burned through $20K more this year so far than all of LY.

Was very comfortable with what I took from my businesses after tax season to keep us comfy until next year. Now I’m worried.

Family of 4 - Spending $350 a week at the grocery store. Insanity! Used to be under $200 not too long ago.

Car insurance is another killer thanks to my teenage driver. 2013 Toyota Corolla - $5K a year for insurance! That’s about what we pay for a $5M liability policy for a business that sells ingestible products to the public. Something’s wrong.

Oh that’s right. I live in NY. Haha

350 / week sounds really cheap.

I spend like 150 / week just for myself and I don’t eat anything expensive, and that doesn’t even include alcohol.

I do eat a lot of eggs though, and for some reason those seem a LOT more expensive than they used to be (more so than everything else)

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Condo association met last night. We increased the monthly fee by 13%. Biggest contributor was increased electric bills for the common areas.

As for our food bill, we shop often not just a big weekly shopping.

What was a quick stop for about $35 is now a $60 stop/

There are still people who insist the economy is strong. Unfortunately, the old measures of economic strength no longer provide comfort to most consumers. And clearly they fail to impress Moody’s.

The money I make online is extra money. It sits unspent. Year to date revenue is up 8.5% from 2022.

Psychologically the new tax rates which are indexed to inflation might give some people a boost. The IRS is attempting to get people to adjust their withholding rates to reflect the new lower rates. Unfortunately, too many people pay no tax, so this will not help the people who feel inflation the most.

On the Ebay forums, there are the usual no sales/bad sales threads. Most are started by sellers who sell costume jewelry or used clothing. I think this might be an economic indicator of its own.


That would be the dictionary definition of self-inflicted pain. Outbound moves from NY, IL, CA etc. are eventually going to cause huge financial problems for the states and regions since costs are baked into their economies already.

Once it implodes it might be safe to move back

“New York lost more residents than any other state from April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, according to U.S. Census population estimates. During this time, the state registered the biggest numeric decline in the country, at a 319,020 population loss.”


A lot of New Yorkers have willingly sacrificed quality of life for the economic advantages of living in NYC for many years. They have tolerated long lines, crowds and other inconveniences because it was a great place to prosper.

I left for the first time in 1967, returned in 1969 found the quality of life lacking, and left for good in 1971, With time, I evolved to be a hick, and also discovered that other parts of American are a good place to prosper.

I think today’s migration are not solely based on the political climate but also based on the same kind of tradeoffs between benefits of the location and quality of life.

But I have evolved into being a hick.


And this ex-NYC gal has evolved into a suburbanite, which I swore would never happen. Then, I swore I’d never get married, and it’s been 47 years…


The 76th year of more than a few centuries in Humankind’s Recorded History hasn’t proved propitious, but the number of them that have belied that trend
far exceeds those relatively-outlier examples.

May y’all see a glorious celebration of your Golden Anniversary, together, (as it often be when we choose wisely, in my experience), come `26.

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My wife and I are now closer to our 60th anniversary, than our fiftieth. Neither of us expected to make it to 25 years.

The judgements of youth are often wrong,even when they were our own.


Inflation expectations may be rising, but inflation is actually declining. Most of the core drivers of inflation are declining. Much of the inflation that we see now is panicky residual behavior by those who have not yet adjusted to the current fundamentals. It is a trailing indicator.

Non-government econmists can now say ‘soft landing’ without being laughed at. It looks like the fed might actually do it. Inflation should be back to 2% by 2026 or 2027.

Sure, it is unpleasant right now, but just hang on for a few years. During those years, if you have any spare cash after buying groceries, invest in more long-term inventory. There will be many deals to be had as the undercapitalized go bankrupt.

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To be clear, the RATE of inflation is declining which doesn’t undo the inflation of the past couple years.

This is one of the ways that everyone with a vested interest in making things sound better puts a ‘spin’ on the news and statistics. It totally ignores the COMPOUNDING effect of the rates in place.

It may ‘only’ be increasing at 3.5% but that 3.5% is ON TOP of all the increases in place already.

This is one of the future problems with the new auto maker contracts clauses that have an inflation clause (AGAIN). Those clauses were a big part of the persistent inflation back in the mid '70s to mid '80s and here we go again. It feeds on itself but, of course, the people that lived through that are all now retired (or very forgetful).

Again, George Santayana rules! Various versions out there but they all boil down to " Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

As one of the radio dj’s in Milwaukee used to say years back – BOHICA. (Many of you will have to look that up).


Those auto loans where you paid all of the interest of the loan when you tried to pay it off early … smh … and then when all the interest deductibles were no longer deductible …

At least the late 70’s and early 80’s taught us the importance of handling your money … and when the supply chain was disrupted during COVID, we knew what was going to follow … inflation …

If you live long enough, you might be able to use your knowledge …

Just opened this one a few minutes ago from Thomasnet (yes, even Thomas Register has gone modern!).

Some tidbits that may be concerning –

“Only 37% of shoppers are planning to shop on Black Friday in 2023, which is a 24% drop from 2021. The number is even starker for Cyber Monday: only 20% are planning to shop on Cyber Monday 2023, which is a 47% drop from 2021.”

On the East Coast?? " In August, we reported that a drought had led to a backlog of upwards of 200 ships in the Panama Canal. Instead of the typical 36 transits per day, July had seen just 32. While a difference of four may not seem like a lot at first, it created a situation in which ships had to wait more than 20 days to use the canal."

Coming by truck? " The American Journal of Transportation backs this up: “Nationally, we’re short about 80,000 drivers.”

They explain that many truck drivers leave the industry because of the difficult working conditions. Long stretches on the road lead to a sedentary lifestyle, poor dining choices, and lack of proper sleep. It’s causing many drivers to look for other types of work."

Of course, those truck stops are GREAT when we travel since they have copious amounts of food ranging from decent to really good at reasonable prices. My doctor does NOT approve…

Expect to be disappointed in the Holiday “bump” – " Coresight Research predicts that the October to December holiday sales season will only be up by low single digits. Mastercard’s SpendingPulse indicates similarly. It predicts that the November to December holiday sales season will see a 3.7% increase over last year."
" Inflation is still very much on the minds of consumers, even if it has eased. Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine and the recent attack on Israel as well as droughts around the world, food prices remain elevated. As well, student loan repayments are resuming, meaning many people will have less discretionary spending."

But, there are nuggets of good news as well: " This year, in-store sales are only expected to rise 2.9% over last year. In contrast, e-commerce sales are projected to be more than double that at 6.7%."

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Yeah, this isn’t actually a real thing. Anyone moving freight right now is getting better prices, more options, and quicker pickups (and transit time) than even just 6 months ago.


When it comes to the economy there’s at least 2 ways of looking at everything.

If there’s 80000 truck driver job openings, one way of looking at that is there’s a shortage of that number. Usually people will use the numbers in a way that fits the narrative they want.

Given that Jeff Bezo’s freight booking company just flopped recently due to a “freight recession” I don’t think there’s a widespread driver shortage.


Well, no kidding. When the “Black Friday Deals” start on Nov 1 there is no reason to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to shop. The “day” has been extended to a month (and it is 42 days to Christmas as I write this on 11/13).

Taking the excitement out of the Friday after Thanksgiving being the “official” kickoff by starting “Black Friday Deals” somewhere in the first half of Nov dilutes the event itself. Expectation, the thrill of the deal, the fellowship of shopping with the mob, are all things that made Black Friday what it was. Without a “standard start” date, there isn’t anticipation built up, and less and less excitement and motivation to shop.

Holiday commercials “out of season” (it’ll be 66°F in Indy today) are becoming just as annoying as incessant pharmaceutical spots and the seemingly always running campaign ads.