Retail Sales for December 2011 Increase Only 0.1%, Give Lump of Coal to Wall Street

December 2011 Retail Sales increased 0.1%. Minus autos & parts retail sales dropped -0.2%. November retail sales were revised up to 0.4% from 0.2%. Retail sales are up 6.5% from the same time last year. Electronics and Appliance stores plunged -3.9% during December, the holiday season. Gas sales dropped -1.6%. Retail sales are reported by dollars, not by volume, so dropping prices often reports as a decline in sales.

Inflation Indicator CPI Is Zero for November 2011, 3.4% for the Last 12 Months

The November Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, had no change, or zero from last month. The flat line was caused by a -1.6% energy decrease for the month. Food increased 0.1%. Gas alone decreased -2.4% in a month and food at home, or groceries, decreased -0.1%. Eating out increased 0.3%. Core CPI, or price increases minus food and energy costs, rose 0.2%.

CPI up 0.5% for July 2011

The July Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% from last month and half of it is gas, which increased 4.7% in a month. Core CPI, or price increases minus food and energy costs, rose 0.2%. Core CPI is a Federal Reserve inflation watch number. For the year, not seasonally adjusted, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) has risen 3.6%. In May CPI dropped by -0.2%.


Cult of Corruption in Federal Agency that Manages Energy on Public Lands

I believe the management we were under was showing favoritism to the oil industry

From CNN, the Minerals Management Service, part of the Department of the Interior, is a cult of corruption. This agency manages oil, gas, minerals on federal lands.

A report, conducted by the Interior Department's inspector general and released earlier this month, found that employees at the agency received improper gifts from energy industry officials and engaged with them in illegal drug use and inappropriate sexual relations. It looked at activities at the agency from 2003 through 2006

A whistle blower lost his job and was told to not investigate why Shell Oil had raised its oil transportation costs in their contract with the Government.

$2.93 gas this morning

When I did my Countdown to $100 Oil?!? series over the last few months, a few people (not here) offered that we would never see sub-$3 gasoline again.

This morning on the way to work I counted 6 gas stations selling gas under $3, two of them at $2.93.

The Year over Year change in the price of a barrel of Oil is on the verge of going negative. The commodity bubble is popping big time.