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The Masked Tulip

UK Retail Employment Plunges Most Since 2008 As Retail Sales Crash

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I bought some cycle tights - not as warm as I hoped - and some apnnier bags in the last week. I noticed, around the time I was buying them, that a lot of UK etailers suddenly began to have sales. In recent years most of them have waited until the Americanised 'Black Friday' at the end of Nov to have sales. So looks like they are keen to get the cash in.

UK Retail Employment Plunges Most Since 2008 As Retail Sales Crash

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-26/uk-retail-employment-plunges-most-2008-retail-sales-crash

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Bloomberg reports, U.K. retail sales are falling at the fastest pace since the depths of the recession in 2009 and worries about the housing market could exacerbate the weakness in consumer spending seen this year. The Confederation of British Industry said its measure of sales plunged to minus 36 in October - the lowest since March 2009 -- from a positive 42 in September. Sales for the time of the year were slightly below the usual seasonal rates, it said.

 

I told you that butter has doubled in price.

Quote

According to Bloomberg, faster inflation has put the squeeze on shoppers this year, and a separate report on Thursday suggests a cooling housing market could further dampen consumers’ enthusiasm for spending.

 

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28 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I told you that butter has doubled in price.

 


If it's british butter does that mean our UK farmers are getting more for the milk and that the butter makers are doing better too?

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I think the increase in butter prices is because it is suddenly being seen as the healthy option, as opposed to margarine. It is all been sold overseas - America I think.  Perhaps not necessarily uk butter but New Zealand, which puts pressure on supply, hence the rise. 

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12 minutes ago, shindigger said:

Cheese and milk are the same price. Broadly.  

Are we being fucked with? 

 

If you believe dairy farmers, cheese is just milk that they didn't have to pour down the drain. Cheese should be practically free.

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21 minutes ago, eight said:

If you believe dairy farmers, cheese is just milk that they didn't have to pour down the drain. Cheese should be practically free.

They also like to tell us all to support British farming, from a Morrisons depot they've blockaded with their Japanese pickups and American John Deere tractors.

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So last month was one of the best months ever (Yea!), while this month is catastrophe (Oh no!).

It looks more like a highly volatile index that doesn't tell you what you think it is telling you.  It is probably just reflecting the weather.

Anyway, what should the index be?  Presumably it shouldn't always be showing rampant growth in sales -- perhaps the warning there is that you're having an unsustainable boom and that it'll crash soon.  Perhaps the 'best' reading (for the economy, not for shops) would be a nice low 0ish all the time?

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

So last month was one of the best months ever (Yea!), while this month is catastrophe (Oh no!).

It looks more like a highly volatile index that doesn't tell you what you think it is telling you.  It is probably just reflecting the weather.

Anyway, what should the index be?  Presumably it shouldn't always be showing rampant growth in sales -- perhaps the warning there is that you're having an unsustainable boom and that it'll crash soon.  Perhaps the 'best' reading (for the economy, not for shops) would be a nice low 0ish all the time?

I used to copy the numbers off the Sudoku puzzle, in the paper, on to the ONS questionnaire.

My real world experience of retail sales bear no resemblance to what's portrayed in the economic news.

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6 minutes ago, SNACR said:

My real world experience of retail sales bear no resemblance to what's portrayed in the economic news.

If it's not a cheeky question, how do you see retail sales at present?

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2 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

I don't know if I'm in a minority (I suspect I am) but living in a rural location I'd be chastised for saying that I really can't stomach most farmers. It's apparent that many (townie) people still have this romantic image of Mr Giles from the 1950s. Modern farming is pretty dire. Tenant farmers earn fuck all while the landowner siphons off the profits. The disconnect of caring deeply about the welfare of their animals but then sending them to slaughter. Blocking off rights of way and getting away with it. Polluting the environment with massive overuse of  pesticides. Etc etc.

I live in the country, there's some farmers I certainly like and I feel they're the sort of people I should like but have to be honest as I generalisation I find them a very greedy bunch who've done very well and have no self-awareness this is the case. Often find them trying to rent out dilapidated barns for ridiculous sums and they're sort of immune to market forces as they can afford to leave it empty.

On thing, in their favour, is even the most brutal dictators and statists, like Mao, have found them, due to their self-sufficiency to be a very difficult group to overcome.

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4 minutes ago, Duck said:

If it's not a cheeky question, how do you see retail sales at present?

Half term makes them weak at the moment. In general no exciting fluctuations but I would say that online growth has plateaued or possibly even gone backwards. It's actually a mystery online isn't bigger than it is. Halloween is a sizeable sales event that virtually didn't exist ten or so years ago - largely due to an increase in immature adults who play dress up too.

In summary there is nothing to encourage a huge expansion drive (possibly too bored with it for one anyway these days) but similarly nothing to suggest drawing in horns either.

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10 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

I don't know if I'm in a minority (I suspect I am) but living in a rural location I'd be chastised for saying that I really can't stomach most farmers. It's apparent that many (townie) people still have this romantic image of Mr Giles from the 1950s. Modern farming is pretty dire. Tenant farmers earn fuck all while the landowner siphons off the profits. The disconnect of caring deeply about the welfare of their animals but then sending them to slaughter. Blocking off rights of way and getting away with it. Polluting the environment with massive overuse of  pesticides. Etc etc.

I appreciate they work hard, and it's a tough old job, and they grow our food. But most of them seem to be pretty weird folk.

It's a bit of a phoney industry as I see it. Too many subsidies. Farms are too small. Low value products.

We need bigger, more professional farms selling more premium value-added products. We should be trading for the cheaper stuff.

 

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2 minutes ago, billfunk said:

It's a bit of a phoney industry as I see it. Too many subsidies. Farms are too small. Low value products.

We need bigger, more professional farms selling more premium value-added products. We should be trading for the cheaper stuff.

 

Disagree. We have had small farms going back into millennia. It has to a greater or lesser extent worked quite well.   Allow it all to be taken over by large corporations, then the opportunities for fraud, meddling and generally poor practices increases massively. See for example, genetically modified crops whether we like it or not and that chicken fiasco the other week.  

Keep it relatively small and then when these practices are found, the small operator can be dealt with quickly and easily. 

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4 minutes ago, One percent said:

Disagree. We have had small farms going back into millennia. It has to a greater or lesser extent worked quite well.   Allow it all to be taken over by large corporations, then the opportunities for fraud, meddling and generally poor practices increases massively. See for example, genetically modified crops whether we like it or not and that chicken fiasco the other week.  

Keep it relatively small and then when these practices are found, the small operator can be dealt with quickly and easily. 

Fair point. I was thinking more along the lines of economies of scale. If a small farmer can make a profit with no subsidies (except the £100 a week I would give to everyone) then fair play. I think in many cases this would not be possible though I am not an expert and would be happy to be proven wrong on this!

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7 minutes ago, One percent said:

Disagree. We have had small farms going back into millennia. It has to a greater or lesser extent worked quite well.   Allow it all to be taken over by large corporations, then the opportunities for fraud, meddling and generally poor practices increases massively. See for example, genetically modified crops whether we like it or not and that chicken fiasco the other week.  

Keep it relatively small and then when these practices are found, the small operator can be dealt with quickly and easily. 

It also depends whether you're talking about arable or livestock.

Arable arguably works better with the economies you get on a large scale;

livestock labour needs are fairly proportional with size, so you might as well have more smaller farms.

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3 minutes ago, dgul said:

It also depends whether you're talking about arable or livestock.

Arable arguably works better with the economies you get on a large scale;

livestock labour needs are fairly proportional with size, so you might as well have more smaller farms.

Pretty sure NZ farms got bigger and many times more efficient when they had to face the global market in the 70s after we dropped them in favour of the EU. Both livestock and other types of farm. They thrive now.

Won't happen in the UK of course because lots of the House of Lords, some MPs  and many party donors are hereditary landowners.

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13 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

Pretty sure NZ farms got bigger and many times more efficient when they had to face the global market in the 70s after we dropped them in favour of the EU. Both livestock and other types of farm. They thrive now.

Won't happen in the UK of course because lots of the House of Lords, some MPs  and many party donors are hereditary landowners.

Most farmland around my area and I believe an increasing amount of it throughout the UK is actually owned and/or managed by large commercial organisations/corporations now. You may well see the field boundaries and a farm house but the two are not necessarily connected anymore. The machines just travel around abd the farming is done on an industrial scale.

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7 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Most farmland around my area and I believe an increasing amount of it throughout the UK is actually owned and/or managed by large commercial organisations/corporations now. You may well see the field boundaries and a farm house but the two are not necessarily connected anymore. The machines just travel around abd the farming is done on an industrial scale.

There are still huge traditional landowners in the UK.

CofE, various Oxford and Cambridge colleges, Aristos, National Trust (I think), MOD, royalty, etc etc.  Many are run on an industrial scale but they don't operate in a proper global market like the NZ farms.

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2 hours ago, billfunk said:

Fair point. I was thinking more along the lines of economies of scale. If a small farmer can make a profit with no subsidies (except the £100 a week I would give to everyone) then fair play. I think in many cases this would not be possible though I am not an expert and would be happy to be proven wrong on this!

I a lot of area I think it can still be competitive small scale - aren't most dairy farms single handed pretty much - long hours and one of the problems is the isolation. Something like the market garden approach for specialist / longer growing season production I think could work well - there's a lot of fairly cheap tech to throw at the manning issues - automatic watering, good/cheap and efficient machinery for bed prop sowing and harvesting. Looks at the small nurseries - one or two people running those with white a large area and output although they do buy a lot of the plugs in and just bring on the plants. 

$80,000 from half an acre- not bad going. 

 

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3 hours ago, One percent said:

Disagree. We have had small farms going back into millennia. It has to a greater or lesser extent worked quite well.   Allow it all to be taken over by large corporations, then the opportunities for fraud, meddling and generally poor practices increases massively. See for example, genetically modified crops whether we like it or not and that chicken fiasco the other week.  

Keep it relatively small and then when these practices are found, the small operator can be dealt with quickly and easily. 

No.

Farms are a relative new thing,.

Go back ~500 years and most land would have been fallow, more likely fallow.

Forward a bit more and you basic self sufficient peasants.

Its not unti lthe invention of powered plant - steam engines -> traction -> tractors that farms started to get bigger.

Previously farm size had been limited to the availability of manual labour.

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