Look to sales tax numbers. If there’s more sales tax being paid, then consumer demand – anywhere from 60 to 65% of total GDP – is on the way up. If not, then it’s on the way down. Simple enough, right? Well, let’s look at those numbers… (goes to look at numbers)
Oh dear. They’re not good at all.
Sales taxes in Texas are down 12.8% compared to this month last year, and this month makes five double-digit drops in sales taxes in a row for the Lone Star State. California’s even worse, and all states are in the negative in terms of comparing this year to last year. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.
So where do the rosy estimates about national recovery come from? Surveys that ignore small businesses and favor weighting to major retailers who, after closing many stores, are seeing some loyal customers coming back to remaining outlets. But they’re not at all the whole story, as the sales tax receipts show.