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Similar to nude-free Playboy, Monday was news free. Our first report was Tuesday’s September Small Business Optimism Index, which showed a slight pick up in small business employment. Both small business spending and future hiring expectations were up, despite an apparent dearth of qualified workers reaffirmed later in the week.
And? The grass roots is rarely wrong, but conflicting data show troubled signs for the holiday shopping season. We hope small business doesn’t doesn’t have its blindfolds tied too tight about holiday spending or Mommy won’t be kissing Santa Claus.
For your personal finances, budget and spend as if there’s trouble ahead. If you’re a job seeker with options, consider larger companies with more cash. You’re less likely to be pink slipped if there’s a near-term hiccup. We may sound like glass half-empty people, but we’re glass half-full people who will drink later.
Stripping Away the Blindfolds
Wednesday brought September’s Retail Sales, which was slightly higher in September, after no change between July and August. The small increase is likely due to a small increase in auto sales. Lower gas prices continued to lower non-auto sales and lowered the producer price index. This makes the crap we buy cheaper. Clothes sales increased (yea, back-to-school). Food prices decreased fractionally, which makes your sunny side up egg a little more sunny this sunny Sunday.
Why are American’s increasing spending when fundamental look as terrorizing as a Swedish hipster? Unfortunately, the American consumer is usually the last to know the economy’s tanked. It’s in everyone’s best interest, except yours, to have you in blindfolds heading into the holidays.
Elusions of Blindfolds
August’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed on Friday that the number of available jobs in August declined more than expected from the downwardly revised July numbers. Other components showed the rate at which workers quit has remained solidly low for the fifth straight month. This indicates worker’s fear of the unknown. A high quits rate suggests a healthy economy. No one’s telling their boss to take this job a shove it, which says better alternatives are non-existent. You didn’t think Tom Brady was simply clinging to his legacy, did you?
WTF? Maybe more Americans actually wash their hands than want to admit the economy is bad. This could explain why spending is up, even though workers won’t tell their boss to read between the lines. Maybe blindfolds are a matter of convenience.
Our take? Save, save, save, cut spending, do a white elephant gift exchange at Christmas and increase income streams. The part-time gig economy is here for a while. Get comfy and be smart.
That’s this week’s Money Conscious Mash Up brought to you by the elusions of blindfolds. Come back every week for our cockeyed take on the week’s economic news.