Tag: spending

Retail Gasoline Use Down 3.2% During Past Week–MasterCard

Filed in Gold Prices by on September 14, 2010 0 Comments

This data is from MasterCard’s weekly Spending Pulse report. The decline in gasoline demand was attributed to hurricane Earl. From Dow Jones: Demand dropped 3.2%, or 289,000 barrels a day, to 8.837 million barrels a day in the week ended Sept. 10. That…

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Major Retailers Hurt By Collapse of Consumer Debt-Spending

Filed in ceo, Debt, deflation, earnings, economy, Gold, Spot Gold, ubs by on September 13, 2010 0 Comments
Major Retailers Hurt By Collapse of Consumer Debt-Spending

Having worked for a big box retailer for 14 years, I understand the dynamics of a high-growth rollout of stores as a key to increasing market share and profits. Some of the best retail names in the US have practiced the identical strategy of concentrating many stores in each market to drive the small competitors out of business. This strategy worked wonders for Lowes, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s during the early part of this decade. The combination of solid same store sales and opening new stores is a fantastic combination during good times. The results actually make the CEOs of these companies think they are brilliant. Their store expansion models based on rosy assumptions are followed like they can’t go wrong. What these CEOs didn’t realize was that their expansion plans were based on lies and frauds. If they had advisors who could give them a reality check, they could have avoided the massive downsizing that awaits them. Their hubris didn’t leave room for a reality check. The population of the US has grown from 281 million in 2000 to approximately 308 million today. We’ve had a 10% population increase in 10 years. Consumer expenditures have grown from $6.7 trillion in 2000 to $10.3 trillion today. This is a 54% increase over the course of the decade. Amazingly, real average weekly earnings have only gone up by 6% in the last decade. The chart below tells the story that retail CEOs have been ignoring for a decade. Consumer credit has advanced from $1.5 trillion in 2000 to $2.4 trillion today. This 60% increase in consumer debt has allowed workers who have barely increased their earnings to spend like they made a lot more money. This debt-fueled consumption binge led major retailers to expand in order to keep up with the delusional consumers. Retail America has run directly into a brick wall. Below are charts detailing the expansion history of four of the most admired retailers in America. Lowes grew their store count from 600 to 1,700 over the course of the decade, a 183% increase. Wal-Mart grew their store count from 4,000 to 8,500, a 113% increase. Target grew their store count from 1,000 to 1,750, a 75% increase. Kohl’s grew their store count from 300 to 1,050, a 250% increase. Same store sales are the true measure of a retailer’s health. When comp store sales are +5% or better, retailers make substantial profits and confidently build new stores. As the charts below clearly show, comp store sales have been in a substantial downtrend since 2006. The new stores that have been built in existing markets are over cannibalizing their existing stores. Lowes has 500 more stores today than it had in 2005, $4 billion more sales, and $1 billion less …

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S.Korea Govt Spending Up 5.7% in Q1

Filed in economy, Gold Investing by on April 26, 2010 0 Comments

South Korea does not need as much stimulus spending now that its economy is recovering, says Mark Matthews, equity strategist at Macquarie Capital Securities. He talks to CNBC’s Bernand Lo, Karen Tso and Sri Jegarajah after the release of the countr S.Korea Govt Spending Up 5.7% in Q1

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NYQ:AXP: AmEx May Say Profit Rose on Spending Rebound Fewer Late Loans

Filed in Gold Investing by on April 21, 2010 0 Comments

American Express Co (NYQ:AXP)., the top performer of 2009 in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, may say first-quarter profit almost doubled as consumers boosted spending and more people paid bills on time. AmEx, which plans to report results after ma NYQ:AXP: AmEx May Say Profit Rose on Spending Rebound Fewer Late Loans

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US weekly gasoline demand up 1.8 pct -MasterCard

Filed in Gold Holdings by on April 20, 2010 0 Comments

NEW YORK, April 20 – U.S. retail gasoline demand rose 1.8 percent in the week to April 16, according to a MasterCard SpendingPulse report released on Tuesday. Gasoline demand averaged 9.465 million barrels per day last week, the weekly survey show US weekly gasoline demand up 1.8 pct -MasterCard

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Top 5 Graphs: US Sees Positive Signs, But How Real Are They?

Filed in inflation, silver by on April 16, 2010 0 Comments

This week we look at the US trade balance trending back to normal, US CPI/inflation figures tending sideways, a pick up in US retail sales, further improvement in US industrial production, and a slight tapering off of US consumer sentiment. So the foc…

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Will Sovereign Debt Tsunami Drown All the PIIIGS and Then the US and UK?

Filed in Debt, Gold Prices, recession, sov by on April 11, 2010 0 Comments

With all the attention being focused on whether or not there will be a sustainable recovery in 2010, the potential for a wave of sovereign-debt crises following the wake of the global recession has just recently started to appear on people’s radar screens – and such a wave should not be surprising. Words: 2541

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Stocks retreat or recharge?

Filed in Gold Holdings, inflation by on March 28, 2010 0 Comments

a key measure of inflation that is part of the spending report — is expected to have risen 0.1% following a flat reading in January.Passover begins at sundown.Tuesday: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is expected to have fallen 0.5 Stocks retreat or recharge?

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Accenture Forecast Misses Estimates as Clients Delay Spending

Filed in Gold Investing by on March 25, 2010 0 Comments

Accenture Plc, the second-largesttechnology-consulting company, forecast full-year profit thatmissed analysts’ estimates as consulting sales fell and astronger U.S. dollar crimped earnings. Profit this year will be $2.61 to $2.69 a share, theDublin- Accenture Forecast Misses Estimates as Clients Delay Spending

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CBO Revises Estimate of the Cost of Senate Health Care Bill Upwards by $50 Billion

Filed in Gold Bullion prices by on March 19, 2010 0 Comments

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revised its estimates of discretionary spending provisions in the Senate health care bill – adding more than $50 billion to the price tag of reform, cutting in half the potential savings of the Senate bill. In a March 15 memo, CBO said it had identified “at least $50 billion in specified and estimated authorizations of discretionary spending that might be involved in implementing” the Senate bill. Discretionary spending is the use of funds not required by law, which are inserted in periodic appropriations bills that Congress passes to set the spending level of the… Original Article: Forum: News/Activism

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Labor costs are key driver of hospital cost growth

Filed in Gold Investing, Gold Prices by on March 15, 2010 0 Comments

Not surprisingly, hospital care is the biggest driver of overall healthcare spending growth, accounting for 33 percent of every healthcare dollar spent. But what single factor is most responsible for spending growth in hospital patient …

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Tax Cuts Without Spending Cuts are a Mistake

Filed in Debt, economy, Gold, Gold Prices, silver by on March 2, 2010 0 Comments

US fiscal policy has been out of whack for so long that both Democrats and Republicans share a part in the blame. But, for a recent column in the Financial Times Gideon Rachman focuses on the Republican role in debt creation. In particular, he looks at how Ronald Reagan’s strengths and weaknesses in office have Tax Cuts Without Spending Cuts are a Mistake originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning . The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

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