11 Facts That Prove The 2017 US Economy Is In Far Worse Shape Than It Was In 2016

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

There is much debate about where the U.S. economy is ultimately heading, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that economic conditions are significantly worse this year than they were last year.  It is being projected that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter will be close to zero, thousands of retail stores are closing, factory output is falling, and restaurants and automakers have both fallen on very hard times.  As economic activity has slowed down, commercial and consumer bankruptcies are both rising at rates that we have not seen since the last financial crisis.  Everywhere you look there are echoes of 2008, and yet most people still seem to be in denial about what is happening. 

The following are 11 facts that prove that the U.S. economy in 2017 is in far worse shape than it was in 2016…

#1 It is being projected that there will be more than 8,000 retail store closings in the United States in 2017, and that will far surpass the former peak of 6,163 store closings that we witnessed in 2008.

#2 The number of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy so far in 2017 has already surpassed the total for the entire year of 2016.

#3 So far in 2017, an astounding 49 million square feet of retail space has closed down in the United States.  At this pace, approximately 147 million square feet will be shut down by the end of the year, and that would absolutely shatter the all-time record of 115 million square feet that was shut down in 2001.

#4 The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now model is projecting that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter of 2017 will come in at just 0.5 percent.  If that pace continues for the rest of the year, it will be the worst year for U.S. economic growth since the last recession.

#5 Restaurants are experiencing their toughest stretch since the last recession, and in March things continued to get even worse

Foot traffic at chain restaurants in March dropped 3.4% from a year ago. Menu prices couldn’t be increased enough to make up for it, and same-store sales fell 1.1%. The least bad region was the Western US, where sales inched up 1.2% year-over-year and traffic fell only 1.7%, according to TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry Snapshot. The worst was the NY-NJ Region, where sales plunged 4.6% and foot traffic 6.3%.

 

This comes after a dismal February, when foot traffic had dropped 5% year-over-year, and same-store sales 3.7%.

#6 In March, U.S. factory output declined at the fastest pace in more than two years.

#7 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not a single person is employed in nearly one out of every five U.S. families.

#8 U.S. government revenues just suffered their biggest drop since the last recession.

#9 Nearly all of the big automakers reported disappointing sales in March, and dealer inventories have now risen to the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

#10 Used vehicle prices are absolutely crashing, and subprime auto loan losses have shot up to the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

#11 At this point, most U.S. consumers are completely tapped out.  According to CNN, almost six out of every ten Americans do not have enough money saved to even cover a $500 emergency expense.

Just like in 2008, debts are going bad at a very alarming pace.  In fact, things have already gotten so bad that the IMF has issued a major warning about it

In America alone, bad debt held by companies could reach $4 trillion, “or almost a quarter of corporate assets considered,” according to the IMF. That debt “could undermine financial stability” if mishandled, the IMF says.

 

The percentage of “weak,” “vulnerable” or “challenged” debt held as assets by US firms has almost arrived at the same level it was right before the 2008 crisis.

We are seeing so many parallels to the last financial crisis, and many are hoping that our politicians in Washington can fix things before it is too late.

On Monday, the most critical week of Trump’s young presidency begins.  The administration will continue working on tax reform and a replacement for Obamacare, but of even greater importance is the fact that if a spending agreement is not passed by Friday a government shutdown will begin at the end of the week

Trump has indicated that he wants to tackle the repeal and replacement of Obamacare and introduce his “massive” tax plan in the next week, all while a shutdown of parts of federal government looms Friday.

 

By attempting three massive political undertakings in one week, investors will have a sense of whether or not Trump will be able to deliver on pro-growth policies that would be beneficial for markets.

 

If Trump can pull off the trifecta, it could restore faith that policy proposals like tax cuts and infrastructure spending are on the way. If not, look out.

Members of Congress are returning from their extended two week spring vacation, and now they will only have four working days to get something done.

And I don’t believe that they will be able to rush something through in just four days. 

The Republicans in Congress, the Democrats in Congress, and the Trump administration all want different things, and ironing out all of those differences is not going to be easy.

For example, the Trump administration is insisting on funding for a border wall, and the Democrats are saying no way.  The following comes from the Washington Post

President Trump and his top aides applied new pressure Sunday on lawmakers to include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in a must-pass government funding bill, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown this week.

 

In a pair of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats for opposing the wall and insisted that Mexico would pay for it “at a later date,” despite his repeated campaign promises not including that qualifier. And top administration officials appeared on Sunday morning news shows to press for wall funding, including White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, who said Trump might refuse to sign a spending bill that does not include any.

And of course the border wall is just one of a whole host of controversial issues that are standing in the way of an agreement.  Those that are suggesting that all of these issues will be resolved in less than 100 hours are being completely unrealistic.  And even though the Trump administration is putting on a brave face, the truth is that quiet preparations for a government shutdown have already begun.

The stock market bubble is showing signs of being ready to burst, and an extended government shutdown would be more than enough to push things over the edge.

Let us hope that this government shutdown is only for a limited period of time, because an extended shutdown could potentially be catastrophic.  In the end, either the Trump administration or the Democrats are going to have to give in on issues such as funding for Obamacare, the border wall, Planned Parenthood, defense spending increases, etc.

It will be a test of the wills, and it will be absolutely fascinating to see who buckles under the pressure first.

Still not convinced? After climbing to its highest in 3 years earlier in 2017, Citi’s Economic Surprise index — which gauges how well data come in better than expected — has sagged badly lately. In fact, this week saw the biggest drop in US Macro data in 6 years (after poor readings on job creation, inflation, housing starts and car sales)...

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junction's picture

Look at iHeartRadio for the future.

"iHeart posted a net loss of $240 million in 2016, after a net loss of $737 million in the year-earlier period.

”The bottom line is you have to have a profit and you have to have sufficient cash flow to function as a company,” said Tatelbaum."

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/iheartradio-parent-warns-it-may-not-sur...

FrozenGoodz's picture

But MAGA inherited a disaster ... how could things have gotten worse already?

JRobby's picture

"Ummmm, I'll take Because Everything's Crashing for $800 Alex"

BuddhistAescetic's picture

Indeed, I'm about to lose my home and live under a bridge if I don't get another Mcjob soon.

 

Wish I was joking but unfortunately I am not....

IridiumRebel's picture

Look at local schools to work with their special needs students. Pays pretty good and the population is exploding. Should be plenty of jobs.

crossroaddemon's picture

Getting those gigs is not as simple as you think.

BuddhistAescetic's picture

I'm blue collar therefore entirely screwed. Thanks for sentiments nonetheless. 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Sell weed to the black folks. 

BandGap's picture

Where are you geographically? 

Sorry for your struggles, I was out four months late 2016 till a month ago. It is scary, hang in there.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

[after telling Mary that he's an architect]

Pat Healy: Really, it's only a side thing for my true passion.

Mary: And what's that?

Pat Healy: I work with retards.

Mary: Isn't that a little politically incorrect?

Pat Healy: Yeah, maybe, but hell, no one's gonna tell me who I can and can't work with.

crossroaddemon's picture

Are you telling me you don't have any marketable skills? Something you can freelance? I make money because there's still enough middle class idiots willing to pay ridiculous prices to learn skills they could acquire from YouTube videos...

BuddhistAescetic's picture

I'm young with no qualifying degrees or certifications. I'm barred from all entrances of this job market...

crossroaddemon's picture

Nobody asks me to see a degree... but then I have YouTube videos proving I have toured with rock stars. ;-)

Look up a local sound prodction company... summer season has started a bit early his year and they're always looking for extra monkeys (yes that really is how we refer to unskilled labor in entertainment) to push flight cases. Even better, that's a line of work that mostly works on a sort of informal apprenticeship basis so if you show the interest and aptitude to become an engineer someone will take you under his/her wing and train you.

johand inmywallet's picture

I did my touring back in the 80's and 90's, before YOUTUBE. Hell we were advancing shows on the old Motorola brick phone and bag phones. The Eagle Model 10 was the bus of choice until the 15 came out and then PREVOST was founded. Worked with numerous touring mixing monitors. Got off the road and started my own business only to watch 2008 desimate it. Still survuved somewhat, but the client base died. Then lacoal companies started popping up using that crappy Behringer shit, we were EAW KF 850's, 300's, SM200 AND 500, CROWN and Midas. Old school that is high tech today.

crossroaddemon's picture

Most of my touring was playing guitar, and now I make most of my $$$ teaching it. I didn't start mixing sound until I was mostly retired from touring and discovered that when working on a regional level sound pays better than playing. I own a small production company, but I've really scaled back the business over the past two years. Around here post-2008 was boom time because we're in easy range of the Bakken oil patch but business has been going downhill, my house is paid for, I have a waiting list for students, and I'm just tired of the road. 

And no Behringer shit here! I'm running Midas Pro series stuff along with an M32 for smaller shows. I still have my old A&H analog stuff but it doesn't come otu much anymore.

stitch-rock's picture

I taught myself electrical engineering and built P-T-P Pultec EQP-1A's, A 24 channel API line mixer and designed my own high end multipattern tube condenser mic...youtube and GroupDIy, where all the techs hangout from UA, Siemens, SSL, etc, contains all the knowledge needed.
Original Pultecs go for 4-5k: I can build them to a RCH from originals for about 1100.

lasvegaspersona's picture

I bought a recording studio in 2003...just in time to get plowed under by Garage Band.....and the death of music (for profit)...

MAAAHM's picture

Along that same line of thinking are caterers and event set ups for the summer. Also, hate to say it, there is (if you're male) ALWAYS ALWAYS a need for male nurses or assistants to do the heavy lifting

tmosley's picture

Go get an apprenticeship with a plumber, carpenter, electrician, or a welder. Earn money while learning, and in a few years, you will be able to start your own business.

Or go online and learn to program. Plenty of free courses on the internet. Machine learning is EXPLODING, and there is an enormous thirst for talent, even if it isn't particularly talented.

Youth is a huge asset if you know how to leverage it. Sadly you generally don't learn how to do that until you are older.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Go get an apprenticeship with a plumber, carpenter, electrician, or a welder. Earn money while learning, and in a few years, you will be able to start your own business."

I totally agree here. Last year I saw a post of a guy that spent some money to go get trained building racing motors. His first year out he made 25K, second 45K and third 95K, something like that. The message was clear: learn a skill that someone is willing to pay you for.

"Or go online and learn to program. Plenty of free courses on the internet. Machine learning is EXPLODING, and there is an enormous thirst for talent, even if it isn't particularly talented."

This is also very true.

I have another idea: Steemit is a blockchain organized Reddit type blog where where people get paid when they are upvoted. It is my feeling that a Steemit environment for musicians Musicit, where music/videos which are popular receive direct compensation could go over real well. Of course, not with the recording industry.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Take a 6 week Emergency Medical Technician course. You'll have to work three or four 12 hour shifts at your local ER, and ride out with local ACLS ambulance crews for a 24 hour shift to certify. Then, after achieving certification, continue volunteering at the hospital for a month or two.

If you're worth your salt, you'll soon be hired at a livable wage.

moonmac's picture

Out of 8 companies we called only one called back with a quote of $2,000 to power wash and stain our deck. I’d of given you $1,500 and sold you a gas power washer for $50 to get started. There’s always money to be made if you’re motivated and have a good back.

All the Septic guys I’ve seen over the years are all 50+ years old and make great money. State Laws require homeowners to spend $40K on new systems so there’s a shit load of money to be made according to our County Health Inspector.   

PrayingMantis's picture

... >>> I'm young with no qualifying degrees or certifications.

... talk to your friends still in the work force; they might be able to recommend you ...

... it's not what you know, it's who you know ...

raybies's picture

Blow up some shit for Uncle Sam... in the Middle East, blame it on terrorists.

shamus001's picture

Merchant Marine Chief Engineer here, been unemployed for 3 months now; first time in 13 years (with no prospect of work in the future- last employer says he is getting stacks of resumes daily)

HalinCA's picture

Hoo Lee Shiiit ... no work or more competition?

chunga's picture

The sheer amount of fraud is fantastic. It's all fraud, pure solid fraud.

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Like George Carlin said: it's grade A bullshit

junction's picture

The word "bankster" has replaced the word "fraudster".  Spend like there is no tomorrow, the government under Trump will bail out crooks like hedge fund Bain Capital.  Just as Obama did.  

SallySnyd's picture

Here is an interesting look at what one former Federal Reserve President had to say about what the Fed will have to do during the next recession: 

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/03/ben-bernanke-on-negative-interest-rates.html

 

With the Fed having backed itself into a monetary policy “corner”, they will have little choice but to use untested policies during the next major economic downturn, a situation that will have significant consequences for investors.

LawsofPhysics's picture

From Ben Bernanke's blog "in a world of excess global saving, low inflation,"  this is a fucking lie...

Why are you citing this horsehit?

CHX13's picture

It's all bullishit, right ?

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Road to Perdition — 'Cause it's all so fucking hysterical

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHtnutB-06o

4johnny's picture

On the bright side, Bill Gates is closing in on the $90billion mark. 

aloha_snakbar's picture

Batman and Iron Man were just a couple of rich guys with no superpowers who used their intelligence and hi tech toys to save the day.

What a huge disappointment Bill Gates turned out to be...

MAAAHM's picture

Install free OS...hey, it keeps the kids off your machine =/

A. Boaty's picture

Gates = alter-ego of little known super-hero, Fart Man! He knocks out evildoers with a mighty blast!

Caleb Abell's picture

"On the bright side, Bill Gates is closing in on the $90billion mark."

and on the brighter side, his wife came up with the name Microsoft on their wedding night.

Calculus99's picture

I know it's been said 1001 times but here it is again -

$trillions pumped in over the last 7-8 years and they can't even get 1%+ growth...

BustainMovealota's picture

Yep,, and that means one thing,,,  Those trillions were never intended to help the economy.  -- LOL , Real fake news you can use.

xrxs's picture

1% growth? The 1% seem to be growing just fine.

bobbbny's picture

That's because they gave it to the banksters & not the "folks" (to borrow the condescending term from Obozo).

1% interest Fed backed mortgages for all would have been a good idea.

Here in Connecticut, the housing market is in total collapse.

There are no good jobs in this State, and foreclosures are piling up. Just look at Zillow.

Houses here are on the market for 2, 3 years with constant price reductions.

This 'recovery" has been a Potemkin Village for "folks" and a boon to the 1%.

Kyddyl's picture

It was GW Bush who started the "folks" condescension. Just to be clear...

Your Good Friend's picture

Well that is promising for CT. 

 

Remember..... nothing accelerates the economy like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.

kareninca's picture

Yes, the job market is terrible in CT.  I have a relative who has been looking for months in the Colchester area with no luck; she has lots of work experience (marketing) and is very hard working.  She just had to put her kids on reduced rate lunches.

If the housing market is so bad, why are asking prices so high???  It makes no sense.  Loads of preforeclosures, and astronomical asking prices.

adr's picture

Increasing prices can't make up for the loss in foot traffic...

JESUS FUCK ARE THEY THAT STUPID!!! 

Increased prices are the reason for the drop in foot traffic. Eventually you say $12 for the rice burrito is too much. 

McDonald's costs more than fine dining did 15 years ago. The Big Mac inflation index took another turn past full retard as the menu price of the meal surpassed $7.50 at most locations. Along with the jump in price, the Big Mac lost a slice of cheese. Now your Big Mac only comes with one slice. 

A popular toy has now gone from $16.99 to $20. Up from a 2009 price of $8.99. Quality wise this toy is way below the 2009 level which makes this 100%+ inflation even harder to stomach. 

People aren't just tapped out. They are pissed at the relentless jacking of prices with no reason behind it. 

chunga's picture

And at the same time the money-changers at the FED are saying they're worried about deflation.

It's absurd. Another doozy is the old axiom that the price of oil effects everything. If it goes up...of course everything else goes up. As it turns out, when the price of oil goes DOWN, the price of evertyhing else STILL goes UP.

It sounds simplistic, but it's true. Every single thing* we see, touch, buy, is somehow severely effected by FRAUD.

*emphasis on every single thing

 

Colonel Klink's picture

They're worried about deflation in big items, housing, cars, education, medicine, stocks, and bonds.  They don't care if the plebes can't eat or get medical attention.  Medical bills are top of the list when it comes to bankruptcy.  I know it's mainstream media so hold your nose, or just google it.  All those things need to come apart.  It's gonna hurt.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148