Retail Sales Reveal Consumer Crisis as Biden Foolishly Celebrates

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden made an alarmingly tone-deaf quip on Twitter, in which he suggested that there was cause to celebrate the passage of his “Inflation Reduction Act”.

The Commander in Chief was raked over the media coals for the suggestion, however, as new inflation data was released just hours later showing that our nation was still very much in the thick of a major economic crisis.

Now, to add insult to injury, reports regarding retail sales in America show that consumers are still quite timid thanks to the fiscal uncertainty that Biden’s economic policies have ushered in.

Retail sales numbers were better than expected in August as price increases across a multitude of sectors offset a considerable drop in gas station receipts, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Advance retail sales for the month increased 0.3% from July, better than the Dow Jones estimate for no change. The total is not adjusted for inflation, which increased 0.1% in August, suggesting that spending outpaced price increases.

Inflation as gauged by the consumer price index rose 8.3% over the past year through August, while retail sales increased 9.3%.

And while that sounds nice, the reality of the situation came with some heavy caveats.

However, excluding autos, sales decreased 0.3% for the month, below the estimate for a 0.1% increase. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.3%.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers led all categories, rising 2.8%, helping to offset the 4.2% decline in gas stations, whose receipts tumbled as prices fell sharply. Online sales also decreased 0.7%, while bar and restaurant sales rose 1.1%.

Revisions to the July numbers pointed to further consumer struggles, with the initially reported unchanged but to a decline of 0.4%.

The inflationary environment of the United States has seen the CPI on food rise to its highest level since 1979, as other indexes of inflation continue to suggest that we are in historically-poor territory as well.