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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

 

consumer contraction continues


via clusterstock, read in on what mastercard is seeing in november e-commerce -- heretofore an only-growth-and-by-leaps-and-bounds division of the economy.

In case you missed it, for the first 23 days of November, eCommerce spending shrank 4% year-over-year. Shrank! This is was a healthy, emerging industry that, six months ago, was growing 15% year over year.

But that's not the half of it. Check out these numbers from MasterCard about ecommerce and overall consumer spending, courtesy of analyst Brian Pitz of Bank of America: ...

eCommerce declines of 7.5% Y/Y reported. For the first time in the industry's history, data indicates eCommerce in the U.S. could post a decline for the quarter. MasterCard Advisory, a division of MasterCard Worldwide, has reported eCommerce spending for the first two weeks of November has declined 7.5% when compared to the same period in 2007. We note the source also showed a decline of 3.9% in October, compared to the comScore estimate for growth of 1.3% Y/Y for that month. We currently estimate 4Q U.S. eCommerce growth of 1.9% Y/Y and are watching for data points as they become available.

Offline retail data shows double-digit declines in several categories. MasterCard Advisors reported that for the first two weeks of November, overall apparel declined 19.0% Y/Y, while electronics declined 22.1% Y/Y and luxury goods declined 21.1% Y/Y. These declines are slightly worse than reported October declines.


These declines aren't just "slightly worse" than October. They're terrifying.


add to that the ongoing durable goods orders collapse, and you have what might well be a nascent depression.

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