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Old 02-24-2010, 03:49 PM   #21
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Nevertheless what I would consider core retailers have just posted better earnings: HomeDepot, Sears, Target, Walmart, etc. Also, computer and software companies are showing better business as well. The leading economic indicators are doing well.

Who has time to shop at 3 pm anyways? Either you are at work or the kids are coming home from school. No one should be in stores at 3 pm.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:50 PM   #22
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Right, but when it lags longer than usual (the GDP started turning positive again what, nine months or so ago?), at some point people start to wonder if "this time it's different" and assume the jobs don't come back. And if that impacts their consumer behavior it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I see the economic recovery slowing as I believe that job recovery will be slow, but I don't see things going in reverse.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:52 PM   #23
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In 2008, before we went to a restaurant or any place of business, we would call to make sure they were still operating. That's how bad it was. Now most places are crowded again.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:03 PM   #24
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Vegas one stop last week - I at America's Best Value Inn cause Motel 6 was way too expensive across from MGM Grand - the parking lot was largely empty most of the week - the more expensive Motel 6 had more cars and the upscale MGM seemed relatively booming with people - over half sporting convention type name tags. The actual casino floor seemed only half full.

Conclusions? ?? The rich are partying on company money and poor folks are staying home?

Oh and later that week the Vegas Mayor was bad mouthing Obama and was boycotting his visit because his previous remark?? wasn't helping them get back lost business.

heh heh heh - Yep jobs are last to recover but I think I've finally given up getting my 1992 job back. ER turned out to be a good replacement.

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:43 PM   #25
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Hi; emerging from my lurking pose...

I went into a Tiffany's in Southern California yesterday to purchase a special-occasion gift ($150 range if you're interested ) -- 1pm on a Tuesday afternoon, and I had to wait my turn. There were probably 10-12 salespeople and they were all with customers. I would have loved to know what the other customers were buying.... I was pleasantly surprised.

Lower end stores around here seem busy -- Kohl's parking lot is packed, Target is always hopping. Maybe I'm just hopeful.

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I just spent a few days in Manhattan with a large number of retail stores near my downtown hotel and my wanderings through them during the day actually made me depressed.

I went to a Macy's, a BB&B, a H&M, an Old Navy, and several more. In all of them, and I do mean ALL, there were many more staff than customers. At the BB&B near Columbus Circle, at 3PM, I was the only customer in the store for several minutes and did not see more than 3-4 other customers in the 30 minutes.

As Buffett and Lynch, before him, I tend to believe what I actually see, and I do not see a recovery.

Anyone else with a better story, I need something to give me optimism?
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:06 PM   #26
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We are in the middle of tourist season so the stores and restaurants are packed . I've noticed more and more of the new Lexus SUVs around . Real Estate is picking up slightly in the under $250 ,000 range but otherwise real estate is still not moving .
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:07 PM   #27
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Right, but when it lags longer than usual (the GDP started turning positive again what, nine months or so ago?), at some point people start to wonder if "this time it's different" and assume the jobs don't come back. And if that impacts their consumer behavior it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is difficult to judge. Unemployment isn't getting worse. So there isn't new downward pressure on spending from the recently unemployed. It's possible the currently unemployed can spend less as benefits run out or they get discouraged about ever finding work. It's unclear if those who have jobs will spend less because of high unemployment as long as unemployment isn't getting worse. Certainly high unemployment will keep wage increases down, so income growth won't add to recovery's thrust. But this all sounds more like muddling along than turning downward, even if we're stuck at 10% for a while.

The risk here, it seems, is that the recovery is so fragile in this state that it won't take much to knock the economy on its back.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:57 PM   #28
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Last year I went back to work PT but this time selling boats in Fla.. At the place where I work they had the best year ever last year. It's been very busy and we continue to sell boats at a record pace. Maybe it's because a lot of other boat dealers went belly up, I don't know but I don't see any recession in the boat business. We also sell a lot of expensive boats and we can't get enough of them.

I actually spend part of my day calling prior boat buyers asking if they'd like to sell their boats so we can take them on consignment.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #29
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Anecdotally I know several people who have gotten jobs since the first of the year, including a 64-yr.-old friend, who hoped but never expected to get a job.

Remember when the stories were all about how the boomers would never be able to retire because the numbers of younger workers were so much smaller and there wouldn't be replacement for us? Maybe today's unemployment is really the number of jobs shrinking to fit the future work force.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:16 PM   #30
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Last year I went back to work PT but this time selling boats in Fla.. At the place where I work they had the best year ever last year. It's been very busy and we continue to sell boats at a record pace. Maybe it's because a lot of other boat dealers went belly up, I don't know but I don't see any recession in the boat business. We also sell a lot of expensive boats and we can't get enough of them.

I actually spend part of my day calling prior boat buyers asking if they'd like to sell their boats so we can take them on consignment.
That's interesting. Makes me think of the RV industry.

So many RV manufacturers have been wiped out over the past 3 years that the few survivors are booming.

Audrey
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:19 PM   #31
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Anecdotally I know several people who have gotten jobs since the first of the year.
In finance in NY, which got decimated, I don't know anyone who's out of work.

Lots of new start-ups run by heavy hitters who don't like their pay making front page news. And even the big, bad, bankrupt, but bailed out basket-cases are hiring again.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:35 PM   #32
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What I saw and what I see:

In 2008 and 2009 my wife and I would go out to dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings (4-7 pm timeframe) and walk in and get seated right away. Might be 30-50% capacity at an applebees, O Charley's or Outback.

In late 2009 and 2010 we now wait at the bar for 30 minutes before being seated in similar time slots
In my area, I never did see much of a drop off at places like Outback. I would ask the medtender if he had noticed much of a drop off(2008-09) and he would say 'maybe a little'. Last week when I was there, pretty much packed. I don't go to malls unless I have to so can't really say how they are doing.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:37 PM   #33
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Well, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that their are many folks seeing the recovery taking place. I suspect it all depends on location but at least somebody's doing well.

Time to go all in?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:39 PM   #34
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I feel the recovery right here. Our members are buying new cars and RVs.

I had to decline work that was offered to me. How can I call it part-time work if I am already at 40 hrs/week? How am I going to find time for RV'ing? And for house maintenance?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:42 PM   #35
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Yesterday I stopped at Home Depot on the way to the dog park to use the facilities. I got asked if I needed help by about 3 or 4 people on the way in and 3 on the way out. Usually in the middle of the day most customers are contractors and retirees - both were in short supply.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #36
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Well, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that their are many folks seeing the recovery taking place. I suspect it all depends on location but at least somebody's doing well.

Time to go all in?
All in?
Well looking at the FIDO sector funds I see Air Transportation, Banking, Leisure, Retailing, and Housing all kicking the indexes butts year to date.

Maybe so....
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:53 PM   #37
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I do not contradict people who see empty stores, etc..., although I have not been to a shopping mall. Seriously, I believe the retail business is still lousy. Hopefully, the service sectors will pick up after the manufacturing sectors, which have seen some recoveries. It would mean a more meaningful and healthier economy than one based on pure consumption.

Just being hopeful here...
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:00 PM   #38
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The recession has hit different parts of the world very differently. The US, Western Europe and a few other places have been hit hard with significant job losses. Other countries have recovered much quicker - as examples - Australia and New Zealand largely due to commodity based exports, China due to domestic growth and stimulus measures and Hong Kong largely due to the China factor. It's also interesting to note that in all four of the markets mentiones, residential property prices did not dip very far either in value terms or for very long and started rising again last year. In both China and Hong Kong the governements have taken measures to prevent the property market from becoming over heated.

In terms anecdotal evidence of recovery, my own indicators are:

1. booking lunches with business clients: at the low point, I could get same day bookings at just about any place I wished and the clients would usually be available and not cancel at the last minute. Things are now back to normal and it is usually necessary to book a week or so in advance for my preferred venues and the the frequency of last minute cancellations due to being out of town on business has gone up

2. taxi queues: at the low point, the taxi queue in the evening would have 2-3 people in it. Things are now back to normal with 20-30 not being uncommon

3. retail sales: retailers are obviously doing better. The disclounting seen at the end of 2008 and early 2009 is ancient history. More new shops are being opened

The unemployment rate is officially falling and will almost certainly drop below 5% later this year.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:04 PM   #39
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Yes, countries like Australia and Singapore have been kicking @ss. Guess who owns stocks there? The Australian central bank has been raising interest rates like clockwork!
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:05 PM   #40
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Yes, countries like Australia and Singapore have been kicking @ss. Guess who owns stocks there?
Australians and Singaporeans?
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