by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
I have so many bad economic numbers to share with you that I don’t even know where to start. I had anticipated that the U.S. economic slowdown would accelerate during the fourth quarter of 2019, and that is precisely what has happened. The Federal Reserve is trying to do all that it can to keep us from officially slipping into a recession, and the federal government is literally spending money as if tomorrow will never come, but all of that intervention has not been enough to reverse our economic momentum. We are really starting to see conditions begin to deteriorate very rapidly now, and 2020 is already shaping up to be the most pivotal year for the U.S. economy since 2008.
Let me start my analysis by discussing how U.S. consumers are doing right now. According to CBS News, a major new study that was just released found that 70 percent of all Americans are struggling financially…
Many Americans remain in precarious financial shape even as the economy continues to grow, with 7 of 10 saying they struggling with at least one aspect of financial stability, such as paying bills or saving money.
The findings come from a survey of more than 5,400 Americans from the Financial Health Network, a nonprofit financial services consultancy. The project, which started a year ago, is aimed at assessing people’s financial health by asking about debt, savings, bills and wages, among other issues.
That sure doesn’t sound like a “booming economy”, does it?
And even though things are already really tough for millions upon millions of American families, it appears that things are rapidly getting worse. In fact, we just witnessed the largest decline for the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index since 2008…
Despite stocks soaring to record highs, The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index fell last week to 58.0 from 59.1 a week earlier, and has now plunged 5.4 points in three weeks, the biggest such drop since 2008…
Yes, the employment situation in this country is still relatively stable for the moment, but the truth is that most of the “jobs” that have been “created” in recent years actually pay very little. If you can believe it, 58 million jobs in the United States currently pay less than $793 a week…
There are now roughly 105 million production and nonsupervisory jobs in the U.S. That’s 83 percent of all private sector jobs. And more than half of them — 58 million — pay less than the average weekly U.S. wage of $793. Many of these jobs don’t offer health care or other benefits.
These are the best jobs that many Americans can find and the most hours they can get.
And I discussed in a previous article, 50 percent of all U.S. workers currently make less than $33,000 a year.
In recent years, many families have increasingly turned to debt in order to maintain their “middle class lifestyles”, but now a lot of those debts are starting to go bad.
In fact, the New York Fed just announced that serious auto loan delinquencies in the United States have hit a brand new record high. The following comes from Wolf Richter…
Serious auto-loan delinquencies – auto loans that are 90 days or more past due – in the third quarter of 2019, after an amazing trajectory, reached a historic high of $62 billion, according to data from the New York Fed today
Do you remember the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008?
Well, a very similar thing is happening right now with auto loans.
Meanwhile, the bad economic numbers just keep rolling in. Here are a few new data points that we have gotten since my last article…
-We just witnessed the worst decline for U.S. industrial production since 2009.
-The Cass Freight Index has just fallen for the 11th month in a row.
-Sears has announced that they will be laying off hundreds of workers as they continue to close stores at a very rapid pace.
At this point, it is going to be a real challenge to keep U.S. GDP growth above zero for the fourth quarter. If you can believe it, the latest forecast from the Atlanta Fed is projecting a fourth quarter growth rate of just 0.3 percent…
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2019 is 0.3 percent on November 15, down from 1.0 percent on November 8. After this morning’s retail trade releases from the U.S. Census Bureau, and this morning’s industrial production report from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the nowcasts of fourth-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth and fourth-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth decreased from 2.1 percent and -2.3 percent, respectively, to 1.7 percent and -4.4 percent, respectively.
That is terrible.
We aren’t talking about 3 percent. They are projecting growth of “0.3 percent”, and if we slip below zero we could actually be in the beginning of a recession right now without even realizing it yet.