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The "Recovery" In One Chart: When Americans Can't Even Afford To Buy McDonalds For 9 Months In A Row

Tyler Durden's picture


There is endless propaganda... and then there are McDonalds sales.

It is the latter that is by far the best indicator of how the US economy is progressing when stripped of all the bullshit seasonal adjustments, rhetoric and lies from the administration which focus on what is a glowing recovery, for the 1%. As for everyone else, they can't even afford a dollar meal.

The proof? McDonalds same store sales for the last month, July, cratered by 2.5%, far worse than the 1.1% expected driven by a 7.3% collapse in Asian sales, but the number we focus on, US comp store sales, was a devastating 3.2%, on par with the worst decline in history, and the 9th consecutive month in which McDonalds has not posted an increase in US same store sales.

Here is your recovery:

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Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:18 | 5064216 Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque's picture

Maybe the sheeple is tired to eat wood puld with plastic cheese burgers.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:24 | 5064231 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



But we still have the freedom to do it.....for now.


It's just that no one can really afford to anymore.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:32 | 5064287 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Can't afford to buy McDonalds may be a good thing in light of the Husi Food business, no?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:41 | 5064336 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Maybe it's just because their food sucks and has continued to suck for as long as I can remember.

Or maybe it's "because they fuck ya' at the drive-through."


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:02 | 5064479 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I think they're losing business to other restaurants that aren't as keen or quick on pricing changes.  From a relative value, mcdonalds just sucks now in that the other places haven't raised prices as quickly, but still give remotely similar portions/quality as before.  Also, many restaurants have daily specials and the enterprising holdouts who refuse to prepare food at home can cycle through them during the week for a cheap meal at a better quality establishment.

Also, you've got the assholes like me who only order water when we go out...  and many restaurants' pricing structures are centered around making their money off the drinks...

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:54 | 5064868 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Sheeple have to eat.

If they aren't buying that shit-food, they are buying something else to eat.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:07 | 5065280 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Food bank

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 20:11 | 5068265 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

what a shame to waste all that pink slime

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:56 | 5064885 KidHorn
KidHorn's picture

I agree. I get Burger King coupons all the time but McD's has stopped mailing them to me. BK with coupons is a much better deal than McD's.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:57 | 5064887 SoberOne
SoberOne's picture

The fact that they serve poison might be an indicator as well.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:13 | 5064963 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

More pink slime!

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:52 | 5065058 Hal n back
Hal n back's picture

when iced tea costs 3 bucks you think twice about flavored water

of course, its plus tax and tip, and when in chicago the tax is 11%.


We said fuck it for cas nites out--we buy hamburger at 4 bucks a pound, a few rolls, potatoes and make our healthy fries, 3 bean salad from costco and lettuce tom onionand we are happy campers when we bbq--much cheaper and better-even teh beer is a buck a bottle not tip--bad for the servers but saves us $$


this economy is slowing fast-looks like CBO was forced to redo its 10 year forecast and be optimistic-no reduction of gdp to 2.3% I bet and no comment about increasing deficits and pending crisis.


it wil be interesting  to see the revisions--kind of like S&P downgrading the US. Can only do it once.


IF YOU want a real treat, make a lamb burger--real tasty-good seasonong and throw on grill.

upscale dinner.


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:39 | 5065471 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Hal n Back - I agree with all your commentary.

Sam's 90% lean just went up to 3.48 from $3.18, that is exactly 10% inflation bump. Still, it costs slightly less and is far better quality to do burgers at home.

That 7% sales decline in Asia is also telling of steep recession nased on higher inflation of necessities. By fall think we will have topped out of inflationary phase of the depression that began in US in 2008 by 2018. We'll be first out in USA with China lagging a couple years after. Buckle up for the last round of te depression. Assets will fall and you have some dry powder be a good time to pick them up at a good price. For stocks will take a peek in 2015. I have seen a lot of good comments here at ZH lately on lack of price discovery based on currency manipulations.

While some of this has started shaking out (call it tapering, printing what not as well) I think it will take a solid year or two before it can become more clear on valuations.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:42 | 5064339 max2205
max2205's picture

No, EBT lets the FSA eat at the Cheeeeeesecake Factory.


Even the FSA won't eat MCD's

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:42 | 5064342 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

I can eat well at home for a couple of days on what lunch at that place costs.  KFC too, and the rest of them.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:54 | 5064415 yogibear
yogibear's picture

KFC has become so expensive for theiir small checken peices no wonder business has dropped off.

A local grocery store chain deli has grilled/fried chicken better than KFCs for half the price and larger peices. Everyoneis ordering from them nowadays.
People need catering they go there instead of KFC.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:22 | 5064643 soylentgreenispeople
soylentgreenispeople's picture

The stock prices are up but the customers are gone . 

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:27 | 5064682 tbone654
tbone654's picture

well... KFC (and all the others) need to have more employees and pay more taxes under our communist system...  They are required to raise their prices...  The grocery store is not required to pay checkers any longer, so the few left in the store can cook chicken and mop the floor (using the same gloves no doubt)...

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:49 | 5065523 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Yogibear - Yes, KFC outside of ones where they still have buffet is a rip off. I eat few carbs these days in any event but the last times I went the chicken was dried out, it had obviously been sitting in a warmer for far too long.

If I am going to pay $12 per person per meal which is what it costs to fill up at KFC, I order Chinese and it's fresh and delivered to my doorstep.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:44 | 5065501 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

ThisisBob - Maybe not two days but I'll also say this. The service has gotten really lousy there too. Paying managers that barely speaka any engless at $15 an hour results in a manager that doesn't give a shit and whatever bad work ethic learned back in whatever 3rd world country happens here too.

The price of global monopoloy, homogenization, a
shitty pay = shitty products and service. I wager most of you here are not at all surprised.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 13:30 | 5066125 Gusher
Gusher's picture

I don't think the reason is that we can't afford McDonalds.  They got rid of me and my daughters favorite items.  Chicken Selects, gone. Anhus wrap, gone.  Ceaser salad. gone.  And frankly their best deluxe burger has no taste compared to a Culvers burger.  MacDon's still has the best fries.. Thats not enough.

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 13:57 | 5070243 papaclop
papaclop's picture

I think things have gotten pretty bad when people can't even afford a Micky D's gut bomb.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:40 | 5064300 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Supersize that McBalsaburger con Queso for me, please. And double the Large McGMO Fries.

Oh and throw in a diet coke.  I need to watch my weight.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:43 | 5064352 DavidC
DavidC's picture

I'm inclined to thing that the original Coca Cola, made with extract of real Coca leaves, would be much more enjoyable and a darned sight healthier than the High Fructose Corn Syrup crap that now purports to be the 'Classic' formula.


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:54 | 5064429 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Coke has been agressively raising their prices so I and others stopped drinking their garbage.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:38 | 5065089 Hal n back
Hal n back's picture

we used to buy a 2 liter at a buck--now if on sale its 1.50--so we bought a zero water purifier and drink a lot of water--better for overall diet anyway

wait til the new min wage gets passed--


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:57 | 5065553 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Tony D'Annunzio: Give me a coke.
Danny Noonan: One coke.
[gives Tony a bottle of Coke and 50 cents]
Tony D'Annunzio: Hey wait a minute. That's only 50 cents.
Danny Noonan: Yeah well Lou raised the price of coke he's been losing at the track.
Tony D'Annunzio: Well I ain't paying no 50 cents for no coke.
Danny Noonan: Oh then you ain't getting no coke. Know what I'm talking about?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:57 | 5064445 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Can't stop laughing! That comment was priceless Smegley!

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:28 | 5065420 JRobby
JRobby's picture

bag of sawdust on the side? you know you want it.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:54 | 5065538 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Smegely - Hahaha! When I was 16 I worked at Wendy's. You would have these very obese people ordering two doublecheesburgers, large fries, large frosty about 3,000 calories and 200 grams of fat and of course a large diet coke.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:39 | 5064325 fzrkid
fzrkid's picture

This is true, the decline could indicate a shift in diet choices. One would have to look at all fast food options to compare the semi healthy options.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:10 | 5064550 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

So Americans may actually be wising up. I'm shocked!

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:45 | 5064356 Flagit
Flagit's picture

Yes, the shrinking portions and disproportionate ratio of meat/filler are driving people away.


About 2wice a year I would get this craving, that could only be satisfied by the flavor that is contained in the Big Mac. Maybe the occasional filet-o-fukushima. About half way through, that craving fades, and I am left wondering what the hell I was thinking.

The final fucking straw, was the last time I was forced to suffer the crave. The girl at the drive-thru informed me they no longer accept $100's. "It's safer for the store. We are less likely to get robbed that way."

They don't serve real food, why should they accept (real) money?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:55 | 5065216 shouldvekilledthem
shouldvekilledthem's picture

This is the root of the problem. Sheeple just don't get it. The last time the USD resembled "real money" was before TPTB got rid of the gold standard.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:16 | 5065349 KnuckleDragger-X
KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Every couple of years I'll eat at McD's just to remind myself what bad food tastes like....

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:33 | 5065442 JRobby
JRobby's picture

I kind of like that dazed feeling I get when my pancreas shifts into overdrive. It is sort of saying: "not this shit again"

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:01 | 5065564 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Flagit - Yeah you have a couple of $100 bills in your wallets these days in America people think your rich. Welcome to the new Mexico of America.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:03 | 5064909 Hulk
Hulk's picture

It wasn't the eatin it that was so bad, it was the shittin it out 5 minutes later that gave me pause...

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 12:30 | 5076794 Flagit
Flagit's picture

Yea, its not the $8 meal I have a problem with.

It's the $10 in toilet paper I need afterwards.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:18 | 5064217 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:17 | 5064218 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Why eat that nutrition-less crap anyway?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:27 | 5064264 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



It just hit me.....we need a Czar to keep them from doing it.


When I say them.....I actually mean YOU!

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:49 | 5064384 ugmug
ugmug's picture

Instead of 'green shoots' we need 'grease shoots'......

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:19 | 5064222 Space Animatoltipap
Space Animatoltipap's picture

Who wants that disgusting chemical junk anyway?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:27 | 5064267 onewayticket2
onewayticket2's picture

given the 911 calls by those who dont "get it their way", i'd say there's healthy demand amongst the unhealthy set.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:51 | 5064405 Flagit
Flagit's picture

Maybe VH1 can do a "Where Are They Now" episode of the McDonalds characters.

I'm sure they are all suffering a myriad of disease due to years of bad diet.

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:52 | 5064857 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Reminiscent of The Marlboro Man....

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:26 | 5065016 armageddon addahere
armageddon addahere's picture

Meet Don "Iron Gut" Gorske, the man who ate 25,000 Big Macs. Not all at one sitting.


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 08:18 | 5064223 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture


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