Victoria’s Secret recorded their eighth consecutive decline in quarterly comparable sales. Foot Locker: Performance is improving. Target: Sales are still falling. Launching free same-day delivery with a membership. China exports turning a corner? Job growth in the US depends on the source: The establishment survey shows strong job gains. The household survey shows strong job losses. In Canada, population growth continues to outpace job growth…

Top grossing movies so far this year. As well as a quick look back at 1977. Boeing is required to halt all production expansion of their 737 MAX. Food prices in the US are up 25% since 2019. Used car prices are down 21% from peak. Debt in the US is exploding higher. Sales at Canadian merchandise retailer Canadian Tire are accelerating downwards. Like many retailers, their essential products are outperforming discretionary ones…

A shorter post today as I’m on vacation in Costa Rica. Some company descriptions with a bit of history. With food prices rising people appear to be cutting back on food consumption. This can’t be good for Ozempic. One of the largest advertising companies in the world is seeing sales decline in the US. Discount airline Lynx Air is bankrupt and will not be offering refunds. Prices are still rising in Canada, but not as much as they were…

American shoppers are spending less. But booze sales are still strong. All of a sudden, recessions are all the rage. Home Depot sales continue to fall. Walmart sales continue to rise. Inflation in the US is proving stubborn. Global semiconductor sales continue to grow from their low last February. The productive capacity of the Canadian economy is being destroyed by high levels of taxation and an exploding number of government employees…

High-end sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is selling a lot of cars, but they keep losing money. Coca-Cola is still increasing prices at a rapid pace, but so far they continue to grow volume. On an adjusted basis, the Taylor Swift Super Bowl was not the most-watched on TV. US inflation is proving stubborn, and some feel it bottomed-out at 3.0% last June. Cocoa prices are soaring due to weather issues…

More layoffs in the Finance industry. Semiconductor sales are still falling. The head of the Bank of Canada doesn’t believe that interest rates impact demand for housing. Needless to say, I disagree. High-end luxury sales are still very strong. Starbucks is still increasing prices. An opinion piece in the Globe and Mail says that Canadian house prices need to fall at least 40% nationally before they would be considered affordable…

The Emirates is an impressive airline. And things are heating up for Boeing. Over the years Americans have increasingly lost confidence in their government. Meanwhile, the opposite is true in Germany. The US is running record peacetime fiscal deficits outside of financial crises/pandemics. Meanwhile, Switzerland, which is at the top of the table in terms of confidence in their government, has a history of running a fiscal surplus…

UPS continues to see the volume of packages fall. They are letting go 12,000 people. Danish firm Novo Nordisk has been growing rapidly for over two decades. First by targeting diabetes. Now by “catering” to the weight-loss category. Over 80% of new cars sold in Norway are electric. New business openings in the US are very strong. Particularly in the home services sector. Alcohol consumption: Something doesn’t add up…

A debt collector has its own debt problems. Tesla sales and deliveries are slowing noticeably and expected to continue in 2024. French luxury group saw its sales rebound in the US and in Wines and Spirits. A quick look at French advertising company Publicis: sales are strong. More companies are announcing layoffs. A number of auto manufacturers have stopped installing AM radios. The Canadian economy is significantly underperforming…

It looks like there may be consequences for Boeing with their latest 737 Max mishap. The issues could come down to poor corporate culture. Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is paying dividends. China’s residential property market is in trouble. Some large financial companies are trying to force workers back into the office. Business is shrinking in Europe. More countries are recognising the benefits of nuclear power…

The co-President of the Club of Rome has a few ideas on how to deal with growing wealth inequality. Core inflation in the UK seems to be stalling. Macy’s is letting go a number of corporate employees. Wayfair is also letting go a number of employees. They blame COVID for hiring too many people. Consumer confidence is growing in the US but still at a relatively low level. More evidence that the growth in electric vehicles is slowing…

More commentators are realising that we are dealing with a housing crisis. The UK and Canada are expected to lead the way in terms of companies filing for bankruptcy protection. Home sales in Canada are down, but prices are up year over year. Germany is in recession. Falling birth rates in developed economies are unmasking the ponzi-like structure of government (taxpayer) funded programs that are an intergenerational transfer of wealth…

Pepsi and Carrefour revisited. More evidence of essentials doing well and non-essentials suffering. A short Xerox history lesson: don’t copy Xerox.
UK employment company Hays is seeing significant weakness in hiring. The declines in US inflation (disinflation) may be stalling. But it’s getting cheaper to fly: airline tickets down over 9%. Electric vehicle used car prices are down almost 30% in the US. US warehouse vacancy rates are rising…

The US is still creating a lot of new jobs. Many of them in government. Job growth in Canada has flattened despite a still soaring population. Core inflation in Europe slowed a bit, but headline inflation was up and food inflation remains elevated. Thanks in part to Pepsi? Vittles is another word for food: you’ll see. The UK will be short of the diabetes drug Ozempic until the end of 2024 as so many non-diabetic people are taking the drug for weight-loss…

Not a lot of companies are reporting results, but that will change soon. More evidence that the industry is slowing. More layoff announcements: this time from Xerox. The boom in electric vehicles might be slowing with prices coming down. However, the boom in government hiring continues. This is really bad for the economy. China continues to slow. Meanwhile, prices in Europe seem to be rising again. A review of F.A. Hayek’s Road To Serfdom…

Just before the Financial Ructions section, I’m going to start adding some comments from my old Ivy Quarterly Reports that I used to write for our clients. People are cutting back on some discretionary items like sneakers. But still lining up at Starbucks. Core inflation in Canada has now risen two months in a row. Corporate bankruptcies in the US and Europe are on the rise. Stock markets are far outpacing growth in the economy…

More evidence that Europe may already be in recession. Canadians are setting new debt records. Discount stores continue to benefit from shoppers trading down for essentials. Americans have cut back on buying furniture and gardening equipment. But still going out to eat and drink. People are finally starting to accept that nuclear energy could be the answer to environmental concerns. A suggestion for dealing with Canada’s housing crisis…

Toy sales in the US are very weak. Businesses in Canada are increasing their usage of credit cards and credit lines. Prices continue to fall in China. Rents may have peaked in the US. Retail spaces in the US are shrinking, yet vacancy rates remain at very low levels. The median home in Toronto is far out of reach of the median income. It’s four times what the median income could afford. In Financial Ructions I go on a couple of rants…