Because the government and other 'official' statistics agencies have pretty much removed every standard consumer expenditure from their weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting models, there are very few items available for Wall Street and the Fed to use to determine the strength of the American consumer. One of these of course is automobile sales, and is an item that the mainstream loves to boast about over and over to say, 'Look Here! The Consumer is FINE! They are buying lots of cars!'
So then what happens when all of a sudden all U.S. automobile manufacturers see a decline in sales at the same time?
In a real world environment we would more often than not look at this monthly dip as an anomaly, or perhaps tied to some other circumstantial blip. However, we know from looking at the real data outside the mainstream that consumers as a whole are in extremely dire straits.
In an article entitled, "The Secret Shame of Middle Class Americans', in this month's issue of the Atlantic, writer Neal Gabler came out as one of the many millions of apparently middle-class Americans who are in fact living in a 'more or less continual state pf financial peril'... scrabbling around to make ends meet, and mostly failing.
If nearly half of all middle-class Americans are unable to even find between $400-2000 to use in case of an emergency today, how bad will this get in the coming months when Obamacare premiums are expected to rise for them from between 14-20% in 2017?
The bottom line is that the American consumer is spent, and there is little that the illustrious Federal Reserve or Federal government can do about it. And since consumer spending makes up more than 65% of the total GDP each year, even the smallest drop will drive the economy right into recession, or perhaps towards the calamity that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling for as being imminent for the entire global economy.