Back from the Grave 2.0

Shoppertrak has posted an update of interest. No data was posted for the week of March 14. The week of March 21 this year is best compared with the week of March 15 last year due to Easter being one week later this year. Making that adjustment, look what happened:

Week YoY % Change
3/21/09* +0.1%
3/7/09 (-1.0%)
2/28/09 (-6.2%)
2/21/09 (-0.5%)
2/14/09 (-1.2%)
2/7/09 (-2.9%)
1/24/09 (-4.1%)
1/17/09 (-3.8%)
Xmas (-4.4%)
11/15/08 (-3.1%)
11/8/08 (-2.6%)
11/1/08 (-1.1%)
10/25/08 +1.0%
10/18/08 +1.1%
10/11/08 (- 1.0 %)

The very first year over year increase since October, that's what happened! It appears that the shock of "Black September" has worn off, and consumers are still spending some of the increased pocket change they've had since Oil prices declined late last year.

In that regard, the "graph of the year" might be the EIA's weekly gasoline usage report.

Since bottoming at about $36 in January, Oil has increased to about $55. The seasonal increase is not a surprise, but the robustness of the rebound is.

As you can see, last year (the yellow line) consumers cut way back on their gasoline usage as prices reached $4+, but by this year (the red line) had taken adavantage of the collapse in prices to use more. In the last several weeks, consumers have reined in that usage a little. If gasoline prices continue to go up, consumer spending on other items will likely go down again.

Whether consumers continue to rebound from the shock of Black September will be seen next with the release of March automobile sales on Wednesday.



That's some good news

Although over the weekend I saw a host of folks say the impeding derivatives implosion (they are not linear losses by their structured finance models (lovely)), is going to prolong the recession and take away any good news, recovery.

Then, in terms of auto sales, honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw D.C. incompetents killing GM was car sales. I mean how is one going to find parts if they kill GM for that will kill off hundreds of after market businesses as far as I know. What about warranties, service, repairs.

Now if I, the ultimate "go to the junk yard and find a transmission, run it into the ground, it doesn't matter if the side has a hole in it, it still runs" vehicle owner am concerned, what about that mom and pop who don't even get the idea on changing the oil, never mind an actual repair?

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