Thursday, December 15, 2011
It's the economy stupid
(After writing this post I dug through the Bureau of labor statistics on the stats for Oct. and Nov. and they aren't looking good unless you just got your nursing degree or medical training.)
I never claimed to be any technical wizard when it comes to the economy but I do get a general gut feeling about how things are going. Looking at the markets bounce like a rubber ball is just an indication of the uncertainty of today's world. In checking stock trends you will note that most of the retail sector has taken a hit. November may have been what looked like a better than average year but most retailers had to slash prices deeply to get shoppers to the mall. The feeding frenzy of consumerism is about over there with all but a small blip on buying as the day nears. But looking at the fundamentals, the guts of industrial spending if you will, I'm looking at a very weak picture with a pull back. Okay duh! Who couldn't have figured that one out by the austerity measures coming? Mining, heavy equipment and the like are taking a hammering (oops pardon the pun). Pharma is fairing okay but basic staples seem to be dropping as are banks. Insurance is on the rise and I was just informed that rates are going up soon. Gas has been moving in an odd pattern. Even though speculators have tried their best to move barrel prices higher past $100 per barrel, it only managed to stay there for a short time before falling. Even in one of the tax heavy states here it's running around $3.60 per gallon average.
There are so many deadlines coming due in the next two weeks they're hard to pin down. We have the european debt crisis hanging over head. The boys coming back from Iraq who will find little comfort in knowing that there isn't much work to be had out there even with any assistance from government. Did I mention more lay offs? On a bright note the post office has given a temporary reprieve to closing a bunch of branches and dropping a bunch of workers. Everything is on hold until May. How they'll pay the bills in the mean time is anyone's guess.
From an anecdotal perspective I'm seeing more parked cars on the street in the neighborhood during the day and I know they aren't taking year end vacation time. Had some hope for this year but I didn't think it would be quite this bad. But to be political once more the republicans did say their only goal was to get Obama out of office. They don't seem to care if they scorch the earth in the process. Too bad we're the part that's getting burnt.