Blame It On The... Blamy Spring Weather

Tyler Durden's picture


Back in February, when January retail sales plunged and every single expert said consumers stayed indoors prevented from spending what money they don't have on goods and services they don't need, we pointed out a tiny little fly in the ointment: Online sales tumbled far more than the headline and core retail sales prints.


Fast forward to today when today's retail sales report, the first one of the second quarter, was supposed to show that with "harsh winter weather" in the rearview mirror, consumers would finally unleash all that pent up spending, in a critical report to send Q2 GDP on its way to what some say would be a 5% GDP quarter (Goldman estimate: 3.9%).

 Instead what it showed was that the spending in the first month of Q2 was far worse than even the last month of the fateful first quarter. Who could have possibly foreseen this? Oh yes, anyone who observed that the US household savings rate had recently tumbled to the second lowest print since 2008 to pay for the March spending spree, and as a result they were tapped out when April rolled around.


But the biggest surprise was that while consumers largely avoided spending in outdoor retail locations, a far uglier print was observed when looking at non-store retailers, aka online sales. At 0.9% it was even worse than the January drubbing.


Here is the spin: tapped out US consumers simply did not have money to go out and splurge after the March spending bonanza, which sadly fell in a quarter which as we already know, will have a negative GDP print and thus is a wash (due to weather, remember). However, as a result of the blamy (sic) spring weather, US consumers didn't spend online either, as they were forced to go outside and enjoy the lovely weather... where as already noted they didn't spend any money either.

See, that was easy.

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Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:16 | 4754234 john39
john39's picture

the masses are well beyond broke.  mission accomplished.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:18 | 4754242 flacon
flacon's picture

Don't look at the S&P 500, it's dropping like a RED rock on this bad, bad news....... NOT! Hahhahaha Fooled you! 

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:24 | 4754265 spine001
spine001's picture

The right spin is

expected consequences of the online tax increase. No more financial advantage of online stores

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:46 | 4754377 SumTing Wong
SumTing Wong's picture

So how is this doubleplusgood? I'm sure Big Media, er, Big Brother, will have a way to explain it to us.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:34 | 4755023 knukles
knukles's picture

It was sunny, warm, balmy, wonderful...
Which held back spending as Americans sat outside gobbling up vitamin D from the sun, doing fuck all else, curtailing consumer spending, increasing inventories and is the significant reason for no signups to OpieCare as people are self medicating with photons.....


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:26 | 4754276 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Tyler has inadvertently coined a new phrase:

"Blamy Weather."

Definition: Seasonal variations in climate being scapegoated for poor economic performance.


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:51 | 4754412 H. Perowne
H. Perowne's picture

We've gone so far through the looking glass that they just don't care anymore; I doubt they can even keep track of which Big Lie they are pushing on a weekly basis. They'll only get called out and ridiculed on the fringe sites anyway, so why make an effort? Minitrue . . . sorry, the mainstream media. . . . will just dutifully regurgitate and the Bandar-log (Krugman, DeLong, et al) will chitter away.

"We all say so, and so it must be true!"

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:42 | 4755103 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Considering the jobby job Biden's kid just got, yeah, the the covers are off this pig and they aren't afraid of the entire world seeing what they are doing now.  Sadly, they are right in this view - nobody cares anymore. 

Game over.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:17 | 4754236 Bernoulli
Bernoulli's picture

blame it on

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:22 | 4754257 darkhorse007
darkhorse007's picture

blame it on the early versions of weatherbug

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:33 | 4755032 knukles
knukles's picture

Ever try to get rid of that fucker from your system?
... probably an NSA plant ...

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:18 | 4754240 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:18 | 4754241 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

Quick CNBS, Line up the spin-masters, LaSagna, Lies-man, Pissonme, ect 

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:18 | 4754243 Iam Yue2
Iam Yue2's picture

I am keenly awaiting another Hatzius downgrade.

Anyone seen Stolper?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:20 | 4754248 jubber
jubber's picture

Dow ATH, S&P ATH ....BTFATH as usual , it's Tuesday.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:21 | 4754251 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The bad weather meme is a flawed excuse to begin with. Any hint of a storm coming and consumers are flooding the stores emptying the shelves and they pull their spending forward. After the storm has passed it's business as usual. The bottom line is people don't have any fucking money. Hell even the tax refunds didn't help out this year. The refund money went towards paying off Christmas.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:27 | 4754271 CH1
CH1's picture

The bad weather meme is a flawed excuse

Wait, you mean snow in winter is not a new thing?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:29 | 4754293 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

NO...and neither is the cold... 


If Global Warming was real....just think of all the GREAT spending seasons we would have EVERY WINTER!!!


Long Global Warming meme

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:35 | 4755051 knukles
knukles's picture

Is Global Warming Seasonally Adjusted?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:31 | 4754301 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

Tax refunds?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:21 | 4754252 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

You are looking at the wrong metric, look at restaurant spending. That is where the credit card crew likes to spend their money. The more trendy and less realistic the better. Same with bars the more hip the moar better. The spending drops there then you know something is up since that is targeted audience for the matrix right now.

You and I don't matter, never did except to buy the bullshit and keep being productive pack mules.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:31 | 4754303 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

I think this is a good gauge. I watch wholesale bread delivers to restaurants. 1st Q sales were up 1% yoy but I would think that is due to price increases. I also monitor dumpster trash. Busy days are now pretty hit and miss, every other weekend is made for Michelob, no more party central weekends.


I also monitor Walmart groceries, flat currently if not down yoy from what I see.


The consumer is either tapped or cautious. Growth is gone...

And it's gone !


Gold Bitchez....

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:50 | 4754347 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

I watch how full the local Walmart parking lots are on weekends. ('Monitoring' is too strong a phrase. Its more like 'noticing', if I'm in the area.)  There have been many weekends when the lots were at least 40% empty. And this is in smaller communties that have no other large general goods retail options.  This never was the case before 2008 & has worsened, especially over the last year. Another indicator is the only large Sears store in the broad region closed down. (Replaced with a tiny mall outlet only selling a few tools and lawn goods.)

Much of middle America is tapped out.


P.S. - - - its a rural community. Farmers are doing extremely well. The purchasing of new equipment seems to have slowed down, guys bought what they needed. But, there are lots of brand new pick-ups loaded with all the nice options.  Often theyre also driven by young guys still in high school or starting college; kids of farmers who make good money, especially in the summer.  Jim Rogers said farmers would be the new rich guys and in many ways he's right. At least, they worked hard for it - unlike many of the azzhats on Wall Street.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 13:42 | 4755648 SDShack
SDShack's picture

Another good indicator is the various dollar or deep discount/closeout stores. My observations show the losses at MalWart and Targette, are being absorbed by 99cents, Dollar General, Aldi, Grocery Outlet, Big Lots, etc. I see a lot more traffic in these discount stores, and not just minority shoppers, but some damn fine well to do shoppers driving nice cars. The consumer is definitely tapped out and looking to squeeze the mileage out of every retail dollar.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:41 | 4754352 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Absolutely the quantity and contents of trash tells a story in and of itself.

The credit card kids and pension retire crowd are the big discretionary spenders these days at least that is my personal observation of things where I live and they are all spending it at the restaurants and on high end drinks, not even beer so much anymore. The bread thing can be deceptive though since the trendy stuff tends to keep away from bread because of the gluten. Bread is for pack mule peasants not hip trendy douche bags and old farts eating themselves to death because they have nothing else to do.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:46 | 4754385 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

I don't open the trash bags..heh heh I observe the quantity as I am at these places daily.


4 well known chain restuarants in So. Cal.


I will tell you this, the volume of vomit indicator is up 3 fold. Yes, 3 times as much puke in the parking lots over the last 6 months and the quantity of empty cans/bottles in parking lot. What does this indicate? Not sure but watch your step !

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:19 | 4754558 Dr. Venkman
Dr. Venkman's picture

"I don't open the trash bags"

says a person named Rubbish. ;)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:21 | 4754253 PlusTic
PlusTic's picture

Stocks = R(ip) I(t) G(ood)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:22 | 4754259 breakyoself
breakyoself's picture

Bring out Pis-ant to talk about the all time highs.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:25 | 4754270 betterlockaway
betterlockaway's picture

All these economic numbers that fail to show the RECOVERY are racist.  There is no other explaination.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:25 | 4754273 replaceme
replaceme's picture

Come on, did the peasants complain when the Sherriff was taxing them all into hovels, so that they could keep the castle so grand?  No, nay verily they did not. 

Rejoice and know that the lords of the lands are doing so well, and that our sweat made it so.  Thus it is and shall ever be.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:26 | 4754274 Squid Viscous
Squid Viscous's picture

If we open green I am opening up a bottle of Everclear... oh shit better get it out of the closet...

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:27 | 4754280 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

But I bought an umbrella and sunscreen!

Big banks are continuing criminal enterprises...death, by law, to the oligarchs.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:27 | 4754282 curbyourrisk
curbyourrisk's picture

As Milli Vanilli once said...



Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:42 | 4754357 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

In the ultimate irony, they turned out to be frauds!

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:27 | 4754284 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

usa people are full to the gills with made in china crap already. MOAR! FORWARD!

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:27 | 4754286 Spungo
Spungo's picture

I blame it on indoor weather. People can't afford to heat their homes because fucking inflation is out of control.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:32 | 4754294 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

At least at the SEC they actually do something like watch porn while on the clock...

News 4 investigates: Workers paid taxpayer dollars to do nothing

( – News 4 dug for answers after finding out workers in Wentzville are being paid do nothing at a facility where they are supposed to be processing paper applications of those signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.


The full video news piece is at the website.

This contractor (Serco) has 1.2B contract with the Federal Government

and it gets better as if it couldn't

UK charity calls for government ban for G4S and Serco

(Reuters) - British outsourcing firms G4S (GFS.L) and Serco (SRP.L) should be barred from bidding for government work until a fraud investigation into their failed criminal-tagging contracts is complete, a penal reform charity said on Tuesday.

The two firms were found in July to have charged for monitoring criminals who were dead, in prison or had not been tagged at all. The scandal led to a ban on new work, managerial departures, business overhauls and big hits to shares and profits at both companies.


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:30 | 4754297 Atlas Shrugs
Atlas Shrugs's picture In the wise words of Milli Vanilli, "Blame it on the Rain."

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:36 | 4754322 Falconsixone
Falconsixone's picture

We've gotta sink the biz mark that's makin such a fuss...

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:40 | 4754349 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Market going higher, as expected.

Bad is good for the Wall Street boys. Got to get your bonuses. Bid the market higher. 


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:45 | 4754375 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

I'm waiting on a rainy day to go on a credit-fueled spending binge. Too damn nice outside right now.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:54 | 4754440 Zigs
Zigs's picture

I posted a month ago approximately 40% of all the households in Iowa were behind on their utility bills. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to know the carryover effect is going to be little to no spending increases for retail.  It also means that people are tapped out to not be able to pay their utilities in the first place. 

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:59 | 4754467 OldE_Ant
OldE_Ant's picture

Hey look at the gambling revenues and booze sales.  Last I checked gambling revenues were dropping, but booze sales peaking..

Maybe if the FED buys everyone a new CHINEASY knicknack GDP will rise.  Frankly I don't have room for BS crap anymore..

Honestly anyone tracking food inflation (i.e. by decreasing weights on packages) AND in the increased prices per lb on meat, cheese, eggs, and gasoline still hovering at 3.6-4/gal with incomes flat to stagnant (any savers completely hosed on return rates) and you'd have to be a FED chairman or on the board with head up the elite ass to understand why purchases are dropping also why they will continue to drop.

They can do whatever the fuck they want with the stock market, drive food/energy prices to the fucking moon, but if wages stagnate it'll just crush the purchasing power of the US. RIP US consumer courtesy FED and US policy makers that allowed for complete manipulation and rigging of what once might have been markets.

Housing prices - won't go anywhere unless the rich in China continue to come to US.  I see theM all over the place here driving $100k cars, living in $.5-1M homes.   Please pony up we need you Chineasy money to keep this turd afload.


Tue, 05/13/2014 - 13:49 | 4755681 SDShack
SDShack's picture

If you think things are bad now with soaring food, energy and healthcare costs, just wait till the REAL costs of 0zer0care hit every person with EMPLOYER SPONSORED health plans this fall. Those double digit premium increase announcements are going to KILL the Holiday Retail Season this year. It's not the new normal anymore.... it's only going to get worse from here.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:03 | 4754485 khakuda
khakuda's picture

The Fed should be thrilled!  They wanted to increase the cost of living and have done a bang up job keeping tuition, healthcare, food, energy and housing costs elevated with all their ZIRP and QE.  If income doesn't get equally inflated through wages and continues to be crushed by 6 years of ZIRP, this is EXACTLY the result they should have expected.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:06 | 4754500 viator
viator's picture

No one is talking about the effect of ACA on discretionary spending. Both real and imagined expenses associated with ACA including much higher deductibles may impact the economy from January 2014 into the future.

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 13:53 | 4755701 SDShack
SDShack's picture

0zer0care is actually going to get Much Much Much worse. This is the year that EMPLOYER SPONSORED plans get whacked. Everyone will see double digit premium increases this fall, PLUS tens of millions of Employer health plans are going to be eliminated. And there is NOTHING 0zer0 can do to stop it. No executive order is going to prevent this because the risk pools have been obliterated and the financials are driving this runnaway trainwreck now. The bloodbath that is coming is going to make the shitstorm that happened last fall when 5 million people lost their HC plans look like a tea party. 

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:29 | 4754621 MansaMusa
MansaMusa's picture

When will the talking heads on the media circuit start discussing the rising gas prices???   Who cares about JayZ getting smacked by his in law!   Talk about Memorial Day gas prices you lying propaganda talking heads!  he he he, time for coffee #2

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:30 | 4754622 MansaMusa
MansaMusa's picture

When will the talking heads on the media circuit start discussing the rising gas prices???   Who cares about JayZ getting smacked by his in law!   Talk about Memorial Day gas prices you lying propaganda talking heads!  he he he, time for coffee #2

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