Wednesday, March 01, 2006

One-The-Ground Sales

This Author is starting to feel uneasy about the recent economic numbers. We have been taking the volitile Products of the Inflation rates out for so long, Economists and Businessmen are beginning to think they don't count. What does count is these numbers are beginning to impact the Economy. I suspect that actual Quantity Sales have been decreasing in amount in recent months, while the Inflation keeps the numbers stable or advancing.

Housing is a by nature a longterm investment. This means Housing Sales are among the least-affected by short-term Price variations; face it, people need Housing to live in. Slowdown in this area only means reductions in Upgrades and less attractiveness as Speculative investment. Gas Sales have declined because of the high Pricing, and this Author expects the general range of Consumer Products are following the lead of Gas. Energy, Communications, and other Basic Services are all experiencing generic Price increasing. Some estimate the Inflation rate including all Price increases stands at 8.4%. The basic basket of Goods of most Inflation Indicators may be very flawed, tracking what 'used to be' technological Trend-setters, which have now dropped into stability; their stability meaning little in the modern economic matrix.

Inflation may be impacting hard, and likely is pushing Household Incomes badly. We do not want a context of High Prices with low Sales. Employment increases look good under such circumstances only due to Retailers' hope that Sales will improve with more 'on-the-floor' staffing. This misconception does not last long, and is too often replaced with 'slash and burn' downsizing of staff as substitute. It is time to contemplate hard volume Sale numbers, and ignore Core Inflation. lgl

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