Thursday, May 05, 2016

The True State Of The US Economy: Retail Companies Reporting Sales Targets Missed

In the free world economies are only as financially healthy as the consumers that feed them.

And when one looks at the latest sales figures reported by six major American retailers today, they suggest the US economy (and therefore the economies of Europe, Japan and Australia - and China, India, Indonesia and others that rely on western consumers) have big problems that governments would rather we did not know about. You see all those major retailers missed their targets, not by a whisker or a cicarette paper or any other measure of a fine margin, but by significant amounts.

As Bloomberg observes, each of six companies, among which L Brands, Zumiez, The Buckle, Costco, The Cato Corporation and Fred's - that reported April comparable sales missed estimates compiled by Retail Metrics.

Among the reasons given by retailers for the weakness were the shift of Easter to mid-March this year from early April last year, and the old standby, rainy weather.

The worst miss was at Buckle, which fell short of estimates by a whopping 660bps*, followed by Cato’s miss of 500bps; L Brands’ Victoria’s Secret also missed by 500bps; on the other end, Zumiez’s April comp. sales missed estimate by just 60bps, the narrowest miss of group.

Investors promptly dumped the companies stock, sending the shares in L Brands Inc., owner of the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works chains, plunging the most in six years to the lowest level since November 2014. Others did not do better: ZUMZ -8%, BKE -6%, COST -2.1%, CATO -1%, FRED -6%.

Which should not come as a surprise: considering in the past several months we have seen bankruptcies by famous retailers such as American Apparel, Caché, Wet Seal, Quiksilver, and Pacific Sun, Eastern Mountain Sports, Sports Authority, and just yesterday, Aeropostale, perhaps it is becoming clear why the state of both the American consumer, and the American economy, is as poor as it appears to everyone, if not those happy few who see nothing but green shoots and "fiction peddlers." Clearly 'the recovery' that did not happen is going to be another historic failure for Obama's failed Presidency

*bps - basispoints, i.e. one hundredth of one per cent, thus 100bps=1%


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Germany: Merkel's Christian Democrats Haemorrhage Support To Anti Immpigration Party AfD

Germany's Hausfrau - VolksfuhrerChancellor Angela Merkel's popularity is falling fast as the disaster of her 'open doors' immigration policy continues to divide German society and erode the popularity of the ruling coalition led by Merkel's Christian Democrat Union party, as frustrated German voters, wondering when their interests and concerns will once again be put ahead of sucking up to immigrants and appeasing minorities, switch their support to the anti - EU, anti - immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Recent polls for the ARD news  network put Merkel's Party and their Bravarian regional sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) at just 33 percent overall support, the lowest rating since October 2011 in trends regularly measured by pollsters

The other partner in the coalition government, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) which ruled Germany virtually unchallenged for several decades after World War Two, slumped to just 20 percent, a long way short of the 33 percent it enjoyed in 2005, according to the 'DeutschlandTrend' surveys, conducted for ARD.

Merkel's reputation as the most competent leader in the EU and de facto  political leader of the European Union has been savaged in Germany and abroad over her open doors policy for 'refugees' which because it does not distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants has seen the nation flooded with unskilled and illiterate peasants, criminals and jihadists.The numbers of migrants arriving in German has caused major strains in many German states, with new arrivals creating a burden on local authorities. More than 1.1 million entered Germany in 2015 alone.

Merkel's falling popularity has been accelerated by her isolating Germany within Europe and angering other her national leaders by negotiating unilaterally a deal with the gangster president of the terrorist state Turkey. Even though it is known Turkey has supplied arms to terrorist group ISIS, traded ISIS oil in international markets and has killed many thousands of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds in pursuite of President Erdogan's territorial ambitions, Merkel has promised to fast track Turkey's access to full membership of the EU and granted, on behalf of all 28 momber stes, though she was never elected thrir spokesperson, the right of visa free travel in the EU's schengen zone to 77 million Turkish citizens. Her plans to relocate refugees across all 28 member states according to a mandatory quota system (set by Germany and the EU bureaurats) have met huge opposition, particularly from Central European states.

The deal she brokered with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to return "irregular" migrants from Greece to Turkey in return for one Syrian being relocated from Turkey to an EU member state has drawn sever criticism at home. The deal is conditional on accelerating Turkey's accession to the EU and visa-free access for its citizens to the EU from June 2016 (Erdogan has already blackmailed the European Commission, the administration arm of the EU to the tune of €billions for help in controlling immigration into Europe, help which has not been forthcoming.

Only 33 percent of those surveyed in Germany said they favored visa-free entry to Europe for Turkish citizens. Only 38 percent endorsed the deal, designed to redistribute asylum-seekers stuck in Greece across the European Union. Poll: Over 60% of Germans Oppose Visa-Free Regime Between EU, Turkey

Merkel's calls for a pan-European response to the crisis — keeping open the border inside the Schengen zone — have been ignored as country after country closed their borders. Merkel has refused to compromise or consider capping immigrant numbers. This has caused anger in the CSU Party where leader  Horst Seehofer has had to deal with the flood of migrants coming over the border from Austria. Following the CDU/CSU Union's poor performance in recent regional elections, Seehofer said: "We should tell people that we get it and that we will draw the consequences from this election result."


Help! Immigrants have taken over our town, pleads German Mayor
The mayor of ski resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bravaria, has sent a plea for help to the regional government begging for help in tackling the problem of crime among refugees. Police officers say "blacks are in charge of the town." The letter, intended to serve as a warning to authorities in Germany's immigrant hot spots, has been sent by Mayor Sigrid Meierhofer on Sunday, according to Merkur newspaper

Migrants Consider Quitting Violent Sweden To Return To War-Zone Homelands For Safety
The Swedish ruling elite's politically correct obsession with immigrants has turned parts of this once peaceful, civilised and safe country into a lawless hell hole and borderline failed state. Perhaps the clearest indication of how bad things are in Sweden now is the news that Sweden is now so dystopian even migrants from some of the most violent and chaotic areas of Africa and the middle east want to return to their homelands

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] ... Daily Stirrer ...[Little Nicky Machiavelli]... [ Ian's Authorsden Pages ]... [Scribd]...[Wikinut] ... [ Boggart Abroad] ... [ Grenteeth Bites ] ... Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] ... [ Tumblr ] ... [Ian at Minds ] ... [ Authorsden blog ] ... [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]