Category Archives: #COVIDUSA

15/5/20: U.S. Retail Sales and Employment: Pandemicession

Data through April 2020 on U.S. Retail Sales is in, so here are two charts:

Retail Sales are down 15.08% m/m in April, and down 18.25% on 1Q 2020 average. Year on year, sales are down 17.83%. Losses in retail sales in April amounted to USD 65.97 billion m/m and USD80.635 billion y/y. March-April cumulated losses amounted to USD 93 billion y/y.

Meanwhile, jobs losses in the Retail Sales sector have been dramatic as well:

Employment in Retail Sales sector fell 2,127,000 in the first two months of the COVID19 pandemic compared to year prior, with April employment declining 2,111,000 or 13.5%. Overall sector employment numbers at the end of April stood around the levels last seen in 1994, effectively erasing any employment gains made over 26 years.

Good thing all the workers in the sector are at least seeing recovery in their stocks portfolios. Otherwise, there could have been social unrest, you know...

7/5/20: Visualizing COVID19 Impact: U.S. Unemployment Claims

We though the Great Recession was bad... until we got COVID19:

The most intensive, in terms of unemployment claims, six months of the Great Recession peaked in new unemployment claims in the week of May 16, 2009 when cumulative 6 months worth of new unemployment claims filings reached - until then unprecedented - 16,815,050. At the end of the week of May 02, 2020, the same number stood at 35,569,978 or more than double the prior historical peak.

7/5/20: No Value in Them, Stonks

No, folks, the markets are still not in line with fundamentals:

And that applies to all three sets of fundamentals: pre-COVID19 conditions in the underlying economy (secular stagnation), during-COVID19 collapse of the economy, and post-COVID19 expectations for the economy.

Which, of course, explains why Buffett sees no opportunities for buying, given the above chart is one of his favourite indicators of value.

6/5/20: 1Q 2020 US GDP:

From Factset: "The decrease in first-quarter real GDP was largely driven by the 7.6% decline in consumer spending, which subtracted 5.3% from the total GDP number. Investment was also a drag on growth, while an improvement in the trade deficit partially offset these negatives. We may see downward revisions to these numbers with the next two data revisions, and second-quarter growth is expected to be far worse. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are currently expecting a 29.9% contraction in Q2."