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

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 closingsin 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 stage is being set for the kind of nightmare crisis that I portrayed in The Beginning Of The End.  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.

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  • JohnDille

    WHY DO YOU ASSUME THAT I LIVE ANYWHERE NEAR DETROIT… NEVER HAVE… , THAT I USE ANY FORM OF DRUGS…. NEVER HAVE…. OR THAT MY PARENTS WERE PARASITES…. MY MOTHER WAS A REFUGEE FROM HITLER WHO WORKED ALL OF HER LIFE, AND MY OLD MAN WAS A 20 PLUS YEAR VETERAN OF THE MILITARY… AND SAW COMBAT IN 3 DIFFERENT WARS! OBVIOUSLY, YOU VIEW MILITARY SERVICE AS A PARASITICAL THING…. BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN AND RAISED IN A FAMILY FULL OF DRAFT DODGING PARASITES…. AND YOU CLEARLY NEVER ROSE ABOVE BEING A PARASITE YOURSELF!!! YOU SEEM INCAPABLE OF SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH ANY EYES BUT YOUR OWN CRACK ADDLED BRAIN… SO CLEARLY, YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER BRAIN WASHED RIGHT WING REPUBLICAN, TOTALLY ADDICTED TO CRACK… OR MAYBE SOMETHING EVEN WORSE!!! NOW, GO BACK TO WATCHING FOX NEWS… CLEARLY YOU ARE ADDICTED TO THAT GARBAGE, AS WELL!!!

  • Jimzan

    I do believe “Zoloft” does “not” remove the effects of being inbred Johnny. Just take another hit off your crack pipe, and enjoy Detroit…parasite, just like your parents did in their youth.

  • JohnDille

    OBVIOUSLY, I DO NOT PROTEST ENOUGH!!! MAYBE IF I HAD A BIGGER MOUTH AND A HIGHLY VISIBLE PLACE TO SPEW MY DIATRIBES, THIS NATION WOULD NOT BE ON ITS WAY BACK TOWARD RIGHT WING FASCISM AND TOTAL CONTROL OF THINGS BY THE RICH AND FOR THE RICH! CLEARLY, MOST AMERICANS ARE LIKE YOU ARE… CLUELESS ABOUT REAL ECONOMICS AND REAL AMERICAN HISTORY… AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE THEREOF!!!

  • JohnDille

    IF YOU SHARE MY BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE… THEMN WHY THE HADES WOULD YOU BADMOUTH THE NEW DEAL AND FDR????? YEAH… BOTH HAD THEIR FLAWS…. BUT THEY WORKED… AND EVENTUALLY… AFTER THEY FINALLY GOT THE REPUBLICAN MESS CLEANED UP… THEY WORKED VERY WELL… AND SERVED AS THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NEXT 50 TO 75 YEARS OF AMERICAN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND STABILITY!!! DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN UPSET WITH REPUBLICANS IN LARGE MEASURE BECAUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DISMANTLE THE NEW DEAL FOR THE LAST 60 YEARS… AND THEY FINALLY SUCCEEDED, MOSTLY UNDER REAGAN AND CLINTON AND BUSH JUNIOR… AND THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN CATASTROPHIC FOR EVERYONE BUT THE RICH!!! MAYBE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO MY DIATRIBES… I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, AND YOU CLEARLY HAVE NOT GOT A CLUE!!! ALL YOU HAVE IS RIGHT WING PROPAGANDA AND LIES!!! APPARENTLY YOU ARE A LIBERTARIAN… WHICH I VIEW AS BEING NOTHING MORE THAN A TOTALLY CLUELESS REPUBLICAN!!! AT LEAST REPUBLICANS STAND FOR SOMETHING… EVEN IF IT IS NOT GOOD FOR MOST AMERICANS. LIBERTARIANS ARE JUST IDIOTS!!!

  • Jefe Gordo

    JOHN JOHN Me thinks thou dost protest too much

  • Jefe Gordo

    I share your background experience and education and I am NOT a republican, but your diatribe just points out a lack of ability to cut through propaganda and look at facts. Take a Zoloft and the try to be analytical John

  • JohnDille

    I AM AN AMATUER ECONOMIST AND POLITICAL SCIENTIST… WHICH MEANS I KNOW A LOT OF STUFF ABOUT THOSE ISSUES… BUT NO RICH REPUBLICAN WANTS TO PAY ME TO HEAR THE TRUTH, AND NO DEMOCRAT CAN AFFORD TO PAY ME WHAT I AM WORTH… AND I CAN TELL YOU FLAT OUT… HANDS DOWN… NO DOUBT ABOUT IT… THAT YOUR VERSION OF THE NEW DEAL IS JUST BLATANT RIGHT WING LIES AND PROPAGANDA! THE NEW DEAL, AND FDR’S RUNNING OF WORLD WAR 2, LAID THE FOUNDATIONS FOR THE BIGGEST ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL BOOM IN WORLD HISTORY… NOT COUNTING COMMUNIST CHINA’S RISE TO POWER… PAID FOR MOSTLY BY REPUBLICANS, BY THE WAY… AND LEFT THE UNITED STATES IN ALMOST TOTAL CONTROL OF THE WORLDS ECONOMIC AND MUCH OF ITS POLITICAL SYSTEM!!! THEN YOU STUPID REPUBLICANS CAME ALONG AND PISSED ALL OF THAT AWAY… FOR THE SOLE BENEFIT OF A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND RICH PEOPLE…. MOST OF THEM RIGHT WING REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO CRAM THEIR FASCIST POLICIES AND ATTITUDES DOWN OUR THROATS!!! FOLLOW THOSE CRIMINALS… AND YOU WILL END UP WITH A UNITED STATES THAT IS OWNED AND OPERATED PRETTY MUCH LIKE THE OLD CONSERVATIVE SLAVE OWNERS RAN THE SOUTH… WITH AN IRON FIST, AND SOLELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RICH!!! BUT YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT REAL HISTORY OR EVEN BASIC ECONOMICS… SO GO AWAY LITTLE BOY… YOUR STUPIDITY AND WILLINGNESS TO BELIEVE REPUIBLICAN LIES REALLY BUGS ME!!!

  • JohnDille

    SO… YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT REPUBLICAN ECONOMIC POLICIES WERE A DISASTER FOR EVERYONE BUT THE RICH…. LONG BEFORE HERBERT HOOVER TOOK OFFICE??? WELL… DUH!!! REPUBLICAN ECONOMIC POLICIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A DISASTER FOR EVERYONE BUT THE RICH… EXCEPT UNDER THE LINCOLN ADMINISTRATION… WHO… BY MODERN STANDARDS… WERE NOT REPUBLICANS AT ALL!!! AND YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT THE DEMOCRATS OF TODAY… WHO MUST KISS UP TO THE RICH REPUBLICANS WHO OWN AND CONTROL EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN THIS NATION, JUST TO GET ELECTED… ARE NOT LIKE THE NEW DEAL THROUGH GREAT SOCIETY DEMOCRATS OF YESTERYEAR??? WELL… DOUBLE DUH!!! BACK WHEN I WAS YOUNG, DEMOCRATS DESTROYED IDIOT REPUBLICANS SIMPLY BY POINTING OUT THAT REPUBLICANS SERVE THE RICH…. PERIOD!!! BUT MOST PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 60 OR SO HAVE NO MEMORY OF REAL DEMOCRATS… SO THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEM… EXCEPT WHAT REPUBLICAN LIARS TELL THEM!!! AS FOR DEMOCRATS CAVING IN TO COMMUNISTS AND FASCISTS…. TELL. ME… OH CLUELESS IDIOT… WHO THE HADES WAS IN CHARGE OF THIS NATION BACK WHEN THE UNITED STATES WAS KICKING COMMIES AND FASCISTS BUTTS ALL OVER THE PLANET??? OH YEAH… DEMOCRATS WERE IN CHARGE OF ALL THAT… AND ALL THE SNOWFLAKE REPUBLICANS WERE WHINING ABOUT… LETS ALL JUST GET ALONG AND KISS UP TO HITLER AND MUSSOLINI AND STALIN, AND SELL HUGE AMOUNTS OF STEEL TO THEM AND TO TOJO!!! JUST BECAUSE YOU AND ALL YOUR FELLOW REPUBLICANS ARE YOUNG AND STUPID DOES NOT MEAN THAT I AM!!! I AM OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW… FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE…. AND FROM DEEP STUDY… THAT EVERYTHING YOU REPUBLICANS BELIEVE.. IS BS AND LIES!!! MOST ESPECIALLY LIES… DELIBERATE, MANIPULATIVE LIES… TOLD TO YOU BY THE WELL PAID PROFESSIONAL LIARS WHO WORK FOR THE RIGHT WING BILLIONAIRES WHO OWN AND CONTROL THE REPUBLICAN PARTY… AND DIMWITS LIKE YOU, TO BOOT!!!

  • Jefe Gordo

    Check your history books and Economics 101. It is generally agreed by other than left wing academics that FDR and his “New Deal” extended the Depression and it would have been over sooner if he had done nothing. He did use it as a “Boogie Man” to promote his socialistic agenda.

  • Eileen

    The motion for the Great Depression started long before Herbert Hoover came into office. Before you start praising the great Democrats, remember that the Democrats in FDR’s time were quite a bit different than the Democrat leadership of today. Today’s DNC borders on sedition; FDR’s Democrats, believe it or not, respected free enterprise; they also wanted big government but they knew full well that without free enterprise, big government was not possible. Today’s Democrats want Communism under one world government where everybody is the same. Sameness does not equate to equality or equal opportunity. While I dislike what FDR did to the economy, if the Democratic Party were to revert to be anything NEAR what they were in 1932, it would be a BIG improvement over the Democrats today. At the very least, they wouldn’t be inviting enemies of this country in and awarding them 2x the SSI benefits that ordinary Americans get.

  • JohnDille

    SO… EVEN WITH REPUBLICANS IN SOLID CONTROL OF BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, THE WHITE HOUSE, THE SUPREME COURT, AND A LARGE MAJORITY OF ALL THE STATES… ALL SUPPOSEDLY WORKING HAND IN GLOVE WITH THE TOTALLY REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CORPORATE AMERICA AND THE TOTALLY REPUBLICAN DOMINATED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ELITE….. THINGS ARE LOOKING SHAKY??? SHADES OF 1929… WHEN THE EXACT SAME CONDITONS EXISTED…. AND WE ALL KNOW HOW ALL THAT TURNED OUT! HOPEFULLY, THERE IS A MODERN DAY FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT WAITING IN THE WINGS, WITH A NEW DEAL PLAN TAKING SHAPE IN HIS MIND, AND WITH SUPPORTERS GETTING READY TO LINE UP BEHIND A NEW DEAL, AND THE REAL DEMOCRATS WHO WILL BE PUSHING IT!!! HERBERT HOOVER… OOPS… DONALD TRUMP…. BE WARY!!! YOUR PUPPETS WILL STAB YOU IN THE BACK AND FORGET YOU, WHEN IT FINALLY BECOME CLEAR JUST HOW INCOMPETENT AND GREEDY AND SELFISH AND STUPID YOU AND YOUR RICH REPUBLICAN ALLIES REALLY ARE!!!