Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One stat lies, but many stats reveal.

I always kind of ignore the first wave of statistics. It seems to me, that the second or third wave are more realistic. By then they've adjusted the first wave, and a trend has developed. Sometimes a very clear trend. By then it's harder to cheery pick, or use anomalies as representative examples, or just to obscure the truth.

What's most interesting to me is that hard statistics simply confirm what is happening in my store. There have been six months of comic sales decline. Yes. There are only 27 building permits and a rise in unemployment in Bend. Yes. There has been a large increase in inflation. Yes.

But there are idiots who will post the 'good' news that Sacramento housing prices are starting to stabilize and that Sales are increasing. Tell you what, if I put my product out there for half price, my sales would increase too. Not sure that would be good for the bottom line, though. And we're probably a year or two away from bottom here in Bend -- and we have to hope it won't be as far down to the bottom as Sacramento.

I understand the need and desire for good news. The hope for an upturn. Optimism.

But let's be realistic. Look at the stats.

They aren't pretty.

Increased inflation. Increased unemployment. Decreased building. Falling housing prices. Falling sales. Lack of credit. Falling earnings.

So telling me that prices on gas have decreased from 4.30 a gallon to 3.99 a gallon, isn't a whole lot of comfort. It's still freakin expensive.

A year ago, there was a lot of uncertainty. Seems to me that there is plenty of evidence now where we're headed, but still plenty of denial. I can understand denial when the evidence is contradictory or uncertain. But now?

Talk turkey, people.

But at least now we can start to deal with the reality. Wait for a real bottom.

Watch the stats. Then wait six months and see what the 'real' stats reveal.

3 comments:

Duncan McGeary said...

The Bookmark, on the N.W. corner of 3rd and Greenwood, shares a parking lot with Mini-pet Mart and Colima Market.

Jeff said...

"The Bookmark, on the N.W. corner of 3rd and Greenwood, shares a parking lot with Mini-pet Mart and Colima Market."

Thanks for the clarification!

Carl said...

With the inflation rate heading upwards, I am wondering how long b4 the Fed has to raise interest rates?

Maybe then we'll be able to get some better rates on CDs and Money market deposits.