Home Depot has experienced declining sales since the fall of 2022. US inflation is proving stubborn and seems to be settling in the mid-3% range: Car insurance and sporting event prices up sharply. Smartphone and TV prices down almost 10%. Fast food prices in the US are up. And customer visits are falling. The retirement savings of renters has been falling while those of owners have been rising. This is what happens when rents soar. In Financial Ructions: Real GDP per capita in Canada is falling. Americans are 45% wealthier!! (on average). A quick look at what’s going on…

McDonald’s delivers good news. But it’s really bad news. General Mills points to a positive trend, but sales are falling. Uber is still growing like gangbusters. Americans are consuming less Greek yogurt. To purchase the average priced home in Toronto you need to earn over $250,000 a year. The monthly mortgage payment on that average house is over $7,000. Guess who’s to blame for Canada’s housing crisis. The Canadian economy created good job growth last month. But the Canadian government increased the labour force three times faster. The financial system in Canada “remains resilient.” But mortgage payments are ballooning higher as mortgages renew. Office property prices are down over 50% since COVID…

Back in March I did a video conference with Anthony Scilipoti on a webinar for his independent equity research firm, Veritas Investment Research. He asked thoughtful questions about my background as a portfolio manager with Mackenzie Investments; my new investment consulting firm Paddington Capital Management; my blog Paulitical Economy™; and my new book Capital Offence – How Some Benefit At Your Expense…

Red Lobster may be filing for bankruptcy protection. Starbucks sales are falling. Peloton device sales are down sharply: Letting go 15% of their employees. Gucci sales decline accelerates, but it’s OK, it’s “normal.” Southwest Airlines traffic growing but not as fast as wages. What to do when iPhone sales are down 10%.. Announce a record share buyback. Business bankruptcies in Canada are soaring. Stellantis (Jeep, Maserati etc.) shipments declined sharply. Hershey continues to increase prices. In Financial Ructions: 1) US job growth slowing. 2) Real rates in the US are around 4% higher than those in Japan…

The US economy seems to be slowing. While prices are rising again. US savings rates continue to fall. Credit card spending continues to rise. Pepsi continues to sacrifice volumes on the altar of price increases. Volume falling the most in North America. JetBlue ticket prices are nowhere near as low as its share price. Hilton Worldwide: A little history. Luxury hotels: Growing. Discount hotels: Falling Hasbro sales continue to fall. Americans continue to rack up credit card debt (just when interest rates on credit card balances are at all-time highs). Shipping volumes with UPS and Federal Express are still falling…

Big layoffs from Tesla. The share price is down 64% from its high. Procter and Gamble has not grown volume for eight straight quarters. This is what happens when you constantly raise prices. People simply can’t afford to buy as much as they used to. Netflix: Diminishing the customer value proposition to drive sales higher. They’re not alone. The growth in the number of government employees in Canada is out of control. The number of “people” who are delinquent on credit card payments in the US is more than three times the delinquency “rate”…

Air travel is growing rapidly. But still far below the trend growth pre-COVID. More evidence of consumers pulling back on discretionary items. This time Roots Canada. China, we have a problem. Office properties: prices plummeting. Shoppers trading down. Despite US government spending driving GDP higher. More evidence that the private sector is weak. In Financial Ructions: A speech from the Bank of Canada. Rightly points out Canada’s abysmal performance on productivity…

Credit card delinquencies at smaller banks have hit all-time highs. So far it looks like inflation in the US bottomed last June. It has increased for the second month in a row. And Up often means Down once government analysts get their hands on the data. Good news: Juries are granting car accident victims record payouts. Bad news: You’re paying for it. US job numbers were strong in March. But more than 1.7 million full-time jobs have been lost since November. The gains were all in part-time work…

The size of new homes in the US is shrinking. Luxury furniture sales are still falling. More evidence that the sales of consumer products companies are slowing. Tesla car deliveries are falling. Meanwhile, Ford’s electric vehicle sales are soaring. New car inventories in the US look to be back to normal. More evidence that consumers are cutting back on discretionary and big-ticket items so that they can still afford to buy essentials. Small businesses in the US employ almost half of the total workers. Inflation in Europe is ticking down. And so are house prices…

A bit of fun with names. Traffic to fast food restaurants is falling. A fair bit of stuff on the potential retirement crisis heading our way. And how a court ruling over 30 years ago may have contributed to it. The US national savings rate (personal, corporate, government, foreigners) has been declining since the 1970s. It’s now negative. That’s a really bad thing for productivity growth. Guess who the main culprit is. In Financial Ructions: The US stock market is overvalued. Revisiting GDP vs. GDI. The Fed’s preferred inflation measure ticked up in February…

While uber luxury products still sell well, your run-of-the-mill luxury goods are experiencing a tougher environment. Gucci sales are falling. Home price increases in the US during COVID were the highest since the 1980s. Walgreens: A short history. And more evidence that US consumer budgets are increasingly stretched. Former TV host Bob Barker’s home is for sale. And yes, the price is right. More layoffs amid “cautious” customers. This time in the telecom industry. Arrivescam: Having a quick look at the Auditor General Report…