This weekend we posted the chart below from Calculated Risk showing that we’re about to get a huge wave of folks cut off from unemployment benefits because they were laid off about 99 weeks ago.
It remains to be seen how much this punches the economy in the gut, and right now we’re not seeing a whole lot of attempts to quantify the ramifications.
“And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it’s real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs,and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when electronic — government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.
“And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they’ve been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours — come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason.”
As Hamilton points out, it’s safe to assume the “multiplier” is pretty high here. This could be a problem.
Photo: Calculated Risk
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