Retail sales fall 0.3% in October

posted at 11:31 am on November 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This does come as a bit of a surprise, especially since other economic indicators of late had looked positive:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $411.6 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, but 3.8 percent (±0.7%) above October 2011.  Total sales for the August through October 2012 period were up 4.7 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago.  The August to September 2012 percent change was revised from 1.1 percent (±0.5%) to 1.3 percent (±0.2%).

Retail trade sales were down 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from September 2012, but 3.8 percent (±0.8%) above last year. Gasoline stations sales were up 7.7 percent (±1.7%) from October 2011 and nonstore retailers were up 7.2 percent (±3.0%) from last year.

Other economic indicators released this month showed some progress:

  • September construction put in place rose 0.6%
  • September manufacturers shipments rose 4.8%
  • September trade deficit dropped 5.1%, exports rose 3.1%, imports rose 1.5%
  • September wholesale sales rose 2.0%

All of that applied to last quarter’s growth figure, though, the advance estimate of which was still an anemic 2.0%.  The retail sales figure in October gives us our first look at fourth-quarter economic performance, which isn’t terribly optimistic.  Reuters notes that the impact of Hurricane Sandy has to be taken into account — but in what direction?

U.S. retail sales fell in October for the first time in three months as super storm Sandy slammed the brakes on automobile purchases, suggesting a loss of momentum in spending early in the fourth quarter.

Sales dipped 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, after an upwardly revised 1.3 percent increase in September that was previously reported as a 1.1 percent rise.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to fall 0.2 percent. The decline partly reflected the impact from super storm Sandy, which lashed the densely populated East Coast — holding down auto sales.

The Commerce Department said it had received indications from companies that the storm had both positive and negative effects on October’s sales data.

The hurricane only made landfall in the final couple of days of the month, however.  Auto retailers expressed optimism that demand would shift to November, and that the massive destruction would prompt a spike in replacement sales:

They expect auto sales to rebound in November. Automakers and dealers last week estimated that as many as a quarter million vehicles would end up in the scrap yard because of the storm.

True, but that only shifts spending from one sector to another.  The Christmas season is almost upon us, where retailers expect to make 20% of all their annual revenue, and the need to replace destroyed assets might mean depressed sales in other retail areas, especially in the northeast. Even without the auto sales drop, retail sales figures were flat in October, which is a signal of dropping consumer confidence.

Zero Hedge says that decline would be coming anyway:

Ignoring for a second that the Commerce Department said that Hurricane Sandy had both positive (remember those massive lines in various stores ahead of Sandy) and negative impacts on retail sales, it would be truly inconceivable for the sellside Wall Street consensus of diploma’ed PhDs, which knew about Sandy’s impact on retail sales well in advance, and thus could adjust its numbers, to actually, you know, adjust its numbers. Either way there is no way to spin the longer term major store sales trend (last chart), which shows that the US consumer, out of money, out of credit, and out of savings is entering the holiday season with little to zero disposable spending power.

We’ll soon see, as the shopping season starts in earnest in just nine days.  As ZH’s chart from Bloomberg shows, retail sales at major stores have been slowing for a few months even before Hurricane Sandy.  With the uncertain tax situation for 2013 and the move by some employers to cut hours to avoid the costs of ObamaCare, I’d expect consumers to be cautious this year.  It’s one reason a fiscal-cliff deal would be better sooner rather than later.


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Hmm. I was told happy days are here again, considering the re-election of the Lightbringer. Someone lied.

changer1701 on November 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM

The start of the double-dip is here.

I hope the 47% are happy. It’s their jobs that will be cur first. Oh, and Mitt Romney (who they got revenge on), will be just fine.

milcus on November 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Part of that is my fault. I tried to have almost all of my Christmas shopping done before October so I could save money for gas to drive back to Ohio for Christmas.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Only gifts for my children, and just a couple.

MontanaMmmm on November 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

The rash of increases in local and state sales taxes have contributed to this. States also expanded sale taxes to cover things which were tax free before.

Rocks on November 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Not making any predictions here as this is just my own personal opinion. But the major retailers’ Black Friday ads have leaked and they look underwhelming to me to say the least. The usual suspects are there like cheap laptops and TVs, but otherwise I don’t see much reason to brave the long lines and mob scenes after Thanksgiving.

Doughboy on November 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Thanks a pant load Obama voters..

“President Obama won because he promised to steal more things from the people who didn’t vote for him ….

…. and give what he stole to the people who did vote for him.”

Peter Schiff

How Barack Obama Secured the Most Important Voting Demographic: The Idiots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz7boAzeV7s&feature=player_detailpage

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

With real household incomes continuing to shrink I think retailers are going to be in for a pretty poor season.

CorporatePiggy on November 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

How Barack Obama Secured the Most Important Voting Demographic: The Idiots

Don’t forget to give an assist to our public education system and apathetic parents that helped raise this large group of idiots.

Deano1952 on November 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

One segment is booming; gun and ammo sales.

michaelo on November 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

No worries in Kalifornia. Today we being to “Crap and Trade” on our industries here. But ‘consumers will be protected from sticker shock’ for now. So say the ‘experts’. The same ‘experts’ who deregulated our electrical industry to save us money. And drove companies out of Kalifornia.

But it’s all for a good cause. We’ll save money in health care costs because of our clean air. EVERYONE KNOWS Kalifornia air STAYS IN KALIFORNIA.

GarandFan on November 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

the bounce will come in Nov. data, of course.

You betcha.

(Except for the UAW- The beast will be starved)

FlaMurph on November 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

…from the “smartest people in the room”..

It’s Bush’s fault!!

Baxter Greene on November 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I kind of like that map Drudge has up. May as well get the process started.

a capella on November 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I’m not buying much this year – I never do. The kids get three presents. I tell them “It’s Jesus’ birthday; He got three presents. If it was good enough for Him, it’s good enough for you.”

That and “Tax THIS!”

EA_MAN on November 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Do the economics numbers matter anymore? Should we really care?…

mnjg on November 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Unexpectedly!

L.i.B.

nitzsche on November 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

FORWARD!

Pork-Chop on November 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I hope my latest purchases of ammo, tools, and canned goods will keep the economy afloat – right until I’ll actually need the above mentioned goodies.

Archivarix on November 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Have plenty of precious metals on hand before the dollar becomes worthless.

rplat on November 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM

How Barack Obama Secured the Most Important Voting Demographic: The Idiots

Don’t forget to give an assist to our public education system and apathetic parents that helped raise this large group of idiots.

Deano1952 on November 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You’ve got that right – the nation’s decline has been a long time coming, preceded by the hair-brained idea that having the government indoctrinate our children and thinking that the country would remain free.

“from dependency back to bondage”

Colbyjack on November 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM

How Barack Obama Secured the Most Important Voting Demographic: The Idiots

The parasitic “idiots”.

rplat on November 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM

One segment is booming; gun and ammo sales.

michaelo on November 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

No kidding. Practically 2008 levels of panic buying.

CorporatePiggy on November 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Gomer Pyle: SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

djl130 on November 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Not making any predictions here as this is just my own personal opinion. But the major retailers’ Black Friday ads have leaked and they look underwhelming to me to say the least. The usual suspects are there like cheap laptops and TVs, but otherwise I don’t see much reason to brave the long lines and mob scenes after Thanksgiving.

Doughboy on November 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Walmart Black Friday 2012 coming even earlier
Sears and Wal-Mart say they’ll open on Thanksgiving

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-10/business/chi-walmart-black-friday-2012-coming-even-earlier-20121110_1_retail-experts-wal-mart-plans-national-retail-federation-spokeswoman

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

some idiot on the radio talking about how a local group that feeds the hungry had to actually go out and buy food to supply their kitchen. the idiot begged the listeners to please dig extra dip into their pockets this christmas.

WTF!!!!!!! i said to myself. tell them to ask obama. they voted for him. go ask him.

personally i’m giving to my local animal shelter.

let the poor burn# this xmas.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Why are these awful numbers showing up after Election Day and not before?

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Do the economics numbers matter anymore? Should we really care?…

mnjg on November 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

If you mean politically, then no they don’t matter. At least not for 2 more years when the midterms arrive.

Doughboy on November 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Fear not! The tax increases will have everyone shopping their heads off. If not, the 47% will pick up the slack with their gubmint checks.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Unexpectedly!

L.i.B.

nitzsche on November 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/11/dear-republican-establishment-a-letter-from-the-conservative-grassroots/#more

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM

We’re laying off 8 people on December 3rd and closing shop. I’ll be fine, but the Obama voters will not.

L.I.B.

Norwegian on November 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Need to buy a generator, but have been told to check out fuel cells.

Any HA folks with experience with fuel cells please advise.

Need to know which sector of the economy to put my resources into – already have new shotgun and ammo.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

personally i’m giving to my local animal shelter.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

My choice. http://www.persecution.com/

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

The problem with falsifying economic data is that it is extremely difficult to coordinate the various reporting bureaus. There has been no recovery. Unemployment is horrifically high. The budget deficit is at a record. Food stamp usage is high. The number of Americans on disability threatens to destroy social security. Businesses really are laying off people in manufacturing and energy sectors due to new regulations.

pat on November 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Walmart Black Friday 2012 coming even earlier
Sears and Wal-Mart say they’ll open on Thanksgiving

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-10/business/chi-walmart-black-friday-2012-coming-even-earlier-20121110_1_retail-experts-wal-mart-plans-national-retail-federation-spokeswoman

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Yeah, all the ads say their doors open around 8 or 9 PM. Ironically the Worst Buy pre-Black Friday ad for next week between Sunday-Wednesday has BETTER prices on things like movies and TV shows than the actual Black Friday deals. So maybe some retailers are getting a 4-day head start on the holiday discounts.

Doughboy on November 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM

On Christmas morning, the only thing I’m opening is a good book — next to a crackling fire in the fireplace fueled by the wood I cut earlier this week.

I’m buying nothing.

I’m traveling nowhere.

You can’t tax zero.

L.i.B.

Dion on November 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Will retail stores hire for the season? Why would they?

Fewer cashiers + tight money + higher prices = angry shopping

kurtzz3 on November 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

L.I.B. :-)

Punchenko on November 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

I’m buying nothing.

I’m traveling nowhere.

You can’t tax zero.

L.i.B.

Dion on November 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

You and me both. I’m cutting back drastically and will take more pleasure in knowing that less is more — much more, in fact, when it undermines the Democrat Regime. :-)

Punchenko on November 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Need to buy a generator, but have been told to check out fuel cells.

Any HA folks with experience with fuel cells please advise.

Need to know which sector of the economy to put my resources into – already have new shotgun and ammo.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Ohh.. interesting question… does anyone have a read on those things?

As to the other item – I already lost all of mine in a “Boating accident”..

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Dion on November 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

i’ll drag out the old fake christmas tree, and the spouse and i will spend the time discussing the gifts we would have given each other, had romney won.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

We’re laying off 8 people on December 3rd and closing shop. I’ll be fine, but the Obama voters will not.

L.I.B.

Norwegian on November 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Pink slips for pinkos! :-)

Punchenko on November 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I will be spending < $200.00 for Christmas.

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

OBAMA DONOR’S CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THAT IT WILL LAY OFF 1,170 EMPLOYEES DUE TO OBAMACARE –

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/13/Obama-Donor-s-Corporation-Lays-Off-Employees-Due-to-ObamaCare

Pork-Chop on November 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

You can’t tax zero.

L.i.B.

Dion on November 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

According to Justice Roberts…

They can.

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Don’t forget to give an assist to our public education system and apathetic parents that helped raise this large group of idiots.

Deano1952 on November 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Yes, specially the parents, the buck stops with them.

neuquenguy on November 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Retail sales fall 0.3% in October

people should stop buying useless crap anyway…

equanimous on November 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

No sh*t.

Knowing that there is no Christmas bonus from the boss this year and not knowing how much less I’ll make come January we are really cutting back. No array of presents under the tree and no trip to grandma’s. (Grandma voted for O so we told no her no grandkids on Xmas morning and you know why…no money for travel!) Kids are prep’d and are hoping that they can get one new wii game to share among themselves.

SPCOlympics on November 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Let the next recession begin today. You own it Obama.

Old Fritz on November 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I already lost all of mine in a “Boating accident”..

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I had to sell all of mine to buy food. ;)

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Went to a local Wal-Mart the morning after the election to purchase some batteries. As I was standing in the check-out line, a couple of white women in the line ahead of me were discussing the election with the cashier, also a white woman. They said that they were happy and relieved that Obama had been re-elected. One woman said she had been worried for a little while, because it seemed that that “rich Republican guy” might be gaining some steam, but then the hurricane came and knocked him out of the headlines, and that was good. The other woman said some of her co-workers had asked her why she was voting for Obama when the economy had been so bad under his presidency, and she told them that it wasn’t his fault. Obama inherited a horrible economy from Bush, and he’d done his best to make it better, but it was so bad that it was going to take longer than he had thought to fix it. As the other two women nodded in agreement, she said that the economy was in such terrible shape that it could not be improved in just four years, and it was only fair to let Obama have a second term so he could finish what he’d started.

As I stood there listening to them repeating all the Democratic talking points, I almost felt sorry for them. They are the people who are going to be hurt the most by Obama’s idiotic policies, but they just can’t see it. Couldn’t help wondering what they’re going to be saying to each other four years from now . . . .

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Ohh.. interesting question… does anyone have a read on those things?

As to the other item – I already lost all of mine in a “Boating accident”..

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Vee haf vays of making you TOCK!

slickwillie2001 on November 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

As I stood there listening to them repeating all the Democratic talking points, I almost felt sorry for them. They are the people who are going to be hurt the most by Obama’s idiotic policies, but they just can’t see it. Couldn’t help wondering what they’re going to be saying to each other four years from now . . . .

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Wow, I have no doubt that there may have been some funny business regarding the vote, but between your story and my personal experience with my wife’s grandparents essentially saying the same crap before the election, even without the funny stuff regarding the actual voting, we’ve lost the country. The people of this country have become stupid.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Couldn’t help wondering what they’re going to be saying to each other four years from now . . . .

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

“Brother, can you spare a dime?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eih67rlGNhU

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

How Barack Obama Secured the Most Important Voting Demographic: The Idiots

Don’t forget to give an assist to our public education system and apathetic parents that helped raise this large group of idiots.

Deano1952 on November 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You’ve got that right – the nation’s decline has been a long time coming, preceded by the hair-brained idea that having the government indoctrinate our children and thinking that the country would remain free.

“from dependency back to bondage”

Colbyjack on November 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM

One more time, for those who might have missed it last week-in 2008, exit polls done by CNN and MSDNC showed Dear Leader setting a new (at that time) record by garnering 70% of the high school dropout vote.

This year, he did even better, according to CNN:

2012 High School Dropout Votes for O’bamna:

PA: 82%

CA: 80%

NV: 72%

OH: 67%

FL: 66%

Forewerd!

Del Dolemonte on November 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

There is a big push on that I have seen in a couple places, like FaceBook, to gift items from local crafters or producers.

dogsoldier on November 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The old people who voted for Obama really mystify me. Do they not know that Obamacare cuts $716 billion in Medicare spending? Do they not care? Or do they just choose to believe the Democrats’ ludicrous spin that the huge cuts are not going to impact Medicare benefits? (Don’t worry granny — that 3/4 trillion dollar reduction in Medicare spending only affects your Medicare providers, not your Medicare benefits!)

When Obamacare is fully implemented, and those seniors start getting letters from their doctors telling them they can no longer afford to treat Medicare patients, will they understand then?

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Next Friday, “Black Friday,” sales will tell us how things are gonna work out. Will people stay home? I think they will. Everyone sees the excrement and the fan.

dogsoldier on November 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

The old people who voted for Obama really mystify me. Do they not know that Obamacare cuts $716 billion in Medicare spending? Do they not care? Or do they just choose to believe the Democrats’ ludicrous spin that the huge cuts are not going to impact Medicare benefits? (Don’t worry granny — that 3/4 trillion dollar reduction in Medicare spending only affects your Medicare providers, not your Medicare benefits!)

When Obamacare is fully implemented, and those seniors start getting letters from their doctors telling them they can no longer afford to treat Medicare patients, will they understand then?

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

They believe the AARP crap. They are AARP members and I even told them about the $716 BILLION cut in Medicare, but they act like that’s nothing compared to the supposed $2 billion stolen from SS by Bush to pay for the wars. They honestly said that if that $2 billion was put back into SS that SS would be perfectly fine.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

One more time, for those who might have missed it last week-in 2008, exit polls done by CNN and MSDNC showed Dear Leader setting a new (at that time) record by garnering 70% of the high school dropout vote.

This year, he did even better, according to CNN:

2012 High School Dropout Votes for O’bamna:

PA: 82%

CA: 80%

NV: 72%

OH: 67%

FL: 66%

Forewerd!

Del Dolemonte on November 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Don’t recall who it was, but someone here told about his/her mother, who is a school teacher, had a student say, “Obama got elected. I don’t have to get a job.”

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Pork-Chop on November 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Now that right there, is funny.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

MREs and a good First Aid kit?

dogsoldier on November 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM
MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

by picking ryan, he gave the libs/aarp a perfect foil.

thanks mitt.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I don’t know how we even begin to fight this level of ignorance and willful blindness.

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Any HA folks with experience with fuel cells please advise.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

No experience here, but you might start with: http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

The people of this country have become stupid.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Yup.

L.I.B.

Fallon on November 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

by picking ryan, he gave the libs/aarp a perfect foil.

thanks mitt.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Like the foil around your head?

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

One more time, for those who might have missed it last week-in 2008, exit polls done by CNN and MSDNC showed Dear Leader setting a new (at that time) record by garnering 70% of the high school dropout vote.

This year, he did even better, according to CNN:

2012 High School Dropout Votes for O’bamna:

PA: 82%

CA: 80%

NV: 72%

OH: 67%

FL: 66%

Forewerd!

Del Dolemonte on November 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Don’t recall who it was, but someone here told about his/her mother, who is a school teacher, had a student say, “Obama got elected. I don’t have to get a job.”

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

This surprises no one – aside from Obama voters… but those are folks who believe what media tells them without question.

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Not buying anything new for the rest of this year at least. Goodwill, Salvation Army and resale stores…and eBay are your friends.

ElectricPhase on November 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

This year as in the last couple of years we are continuing to give thanks and enjoy the season without the spendathon. I had a great childhood with modest gifts. It’s not the gifts that I treasure its the memories and traditions. I could be wrong but everyone I know is in this mindset. But then again everone I know was voting for mitt so maybe Im in a shopping bubble.

ldbgcoleman on November 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

MREs and a good First Aid kit?

dogsoldier on November 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Thank you.

Question for Dawg:

I’m not military, so I don’t know about where or what to look for in MRE’s. What’s the difference between MRE’s and going over to REI and getting dehydrated camping food? Also, I’ve been thinking about the First Aid items needed, but if you (or anyone else) has suggestions for inclusion, please advise.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

As to the other item – I already lost all of mine in a “Boating accident”..

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

It was horrible. Just horrible. All of those bullets and weapons lost in the water. I was too heart broken to file an insurance claim or anything.

LoganSix on November 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

FWIW: http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

It sounds like a woman I encountered at a client site.

‘Reagan came in and took all the jobs.’

I couldn’t help myself. I said ‘He did? He must have worked three shifts 7 days a week.’

jangle12 on November 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM

MontanaMmmm on November 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

We’re also going very light this Christmas. Just a couple of gifts for the kids and one for the family. Way, way lower than last Christmas. We’re now focused on slashing our spending (and paying off all debt) and some emergency prep stuff for the coming economic fiasco we’re being led into.

I won’t mind at all if a lot of people go Galt for Christmas.

batter on November 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM

. What’s the difference between MRE’s and going over to REI and getting dehydrated camping food?

Taste and cost.

If you are “bugging in”, you probably should look into Mountain House #10 cans of food. They also have resealable packs.

If you are “bugging out”, then MRE (civilian or surplus) will do. But, you can only haul so much, which means you probably should look into trapping, skinning and preparing small animal books.

If you do “bug out”, make sure you have a final destination and that place is prepared, because “The Road” won’t be a friendly place.

LoganSix on November 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It was horrible. Just horrible. All of those bullets and weapons lost in the water. I was too heart broken to file an insurance claim or anything.

LoganSix on November 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Tell me about it – the memory is sooooo painful that I can’t even remember where I lost them – I marked the bottom of the boat and all, but what else can you do?

Galt2009 on November 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Not sure on fuel cells but if you go for a generator, look at Honda. They cost more but are worth the reliability, IMO. Also be sure to look at Ed’s post (Why backup generators fail) on generator upkeep (only 20% turn on in an emergency because they haven’t been run etc).

batter on November 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

“Big Bird still has federal funding, so who cares about some sailing figures?”
–the American electorate

MidniteRambler on November 14, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Already worked it out with the siblings–no Christmas gifts for each other or each other’s kids. Seeing each other will be enough. My health insurance just went up 50% with no added benefit and a $2500 deductible. We are battening down the hatches. I’m even drying my clothes outside again. Gotta save where I can.

txhsmom on November 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

LoganSix on November 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Thank you.

Live in a cold Blue City, so it’s an Alamo scenario.

batter on November 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Have heard the same from other sources.

Thanks.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM

AZCoyote on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Interesting. Talking to a Walmart clerk I know, since November 6, they can’t keep ammunition in stock. They have sold completely out a couple of times [in a week!] and firearms are moving right smartly.] Guess which group is more likely to make it to the end of the next 4 years?

Subotai Bahadur on November 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I’m not military, so I don’t know about where or what to look for in MRE’s. What’s the difference between MRE’s and going over to REI and getting dehydrated camping food? Also, I’ve been thinking about the First Aid items needed, but if you (or anyone else) has suggestions for inclusion, please advise.

Bruno Strozek on November 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

You don’t need as much water for MREs. Most of the food is already hydrated except for the powdered drink. They also come with a water activated heating pack for the main dish and various sundries like matches, gum, tobasco, toilet paper, etc. MREs really pack in the calories so unless you are working really hard you can probably divide up the MRE and get 2-3 small meals out of it. They taste better too, well except the omelet… I used a lot of tobasco to make that go down.

SPCOlympics on November 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Christmas?

My kids are all getting bullets and non-perishable foods.

bigbeachbird on November 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Expect them to continue to fall. I am cutting my spending to the bone – and it was quite excessive prior to Nov. 6.

besser tot als rot on November 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Expectation was for -0.1%, so this was weaker than we wanted. Probably Sandy, also some uncertainty about the economic environment. General feeling is one of caution, with the markets pulling back. Next six months will be rough, as we wait to see what kind of fiscal deal will be reached and whether Greece finally falls apart. But if the markets keep dropping, it may be time to get greedy early next year … keep an eye on the employment reports.

TouchdownBuddha on November 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Surprised it’s not lower. I’m pretty sure that several millions of Americans have either exhausted their credit or gotten rid of their debt and intend to keep it that way.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Get ready for more ugly indicators and lowered expectations. Benedict Obama’s re-election will cause a number of negatives and a lot of lay offs(as already witnessed), not to mention many companies going out of business all together! These are the results of electing a job killer as President! Make sure you remind Libs, every time time you talk to one, that these are the results of their votes for the Failure-in-chief!

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on November 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

PLease Ed tell me you aren’t believing postive forecasts in the economy and have to say its unexpected. It isn’t unexpected overall it isn’t unexpected that the numbers are going down depsite some trendline you should know the undertow on the country could ALWAYS cause a dip anytime.

Just a question to the board? What do think the consumer confidence will be among the 48% of the people who voted for Romney thining that if Obama won we are in for an economic downturn?

Second question…If you believe perception is reality and 48% of us are scared sh*tless what do you think Christmas will look like?

The people I am talking to are DOWNSIZING Christmas we’ll see if the food stamp queens can make up the difference but don’t write UNEXPECTLY in reaction to Obama’s re-election it is just foolishness that only Obama zombies would be expecting with the re-elect of the Messiah.

Conan on November 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

This is the second Christmas in a row for my husband to be unemployed. We are buying nothing except a few presents for our children. I already told my husband to inform the numerous in-laws that there won’t be any presents this year due to lack of money.

sherrimae on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM