• [WEBCAST] Raoul Pal & Neil Howe: A Sobering U.S. Economic Reality Check

    Prepare your portfolio for “big picture” paradigm shifts with Real Vision co-founder Raoul Pal and Demography analyst Neil Howe. Watch the replay from this webcast.

Below is a brief excerpt transcribed from Tuesday's edition of The Macro Show hosted by Retail analyst Brian McGough.

Short Retail Was the Right Call in 2019 → What About 2020? - 1 28 2020 11 19 07 AM

Let’s take a look at what happened in 2019.

We were flat out short retail. It was far and away the right call. Take a look at this chart below.

Short Retail Was the Right Call in 2019 → What About 2020? - 1 28 2020 11 00 02 AM

I think it’s going to be the right call again in 2020.

Now, that might seem a little odd in light of the fact that last week we got data points out of holiday season. Holiday spending was up +4.3% as you can see.

Short Retail Was the Right Call in 2019 → What About 2020? - 1 28 2020 11 00 26 AM

This chart shows the combined November and December numbers of 2019. You can see how the holiday shaped up over the past 13 years. Over the past 5 years, it was our second strongest holiday, and that was with 6 fewer shopping days on a year over year basis.

So, if you’re brick-and-mortar focused, and you don’t have a good econ business, you probably missed and you guided down. If you had more of an econ business, then you pulled through and you brought up that average.

That said, sales are slowing slowly. On these next two charts, you can see the overall trend in overall US Retail Sales & Food Services and US Retail Ex Food, Gas, Auto.

Short Retail Was the Right Call in 2019 → What About 2020? - 1 28 2020 11 00 52 AM

Are they crashing? Nope. They're certainly not crashing. 

But are they trending up? No.

They’re trending down, and that’s as plain as day.