The other day my wife answered the front door and was greeted by the Amazon delivery van driver, who had a very worried look upon his face.
He was anxious to know if she was well and that everything was all right.
She thanked him for asking, her reply was that all was well and wanted to know why he had asked.
His reply was that he was concerned about her health because she had not had a delivery this week.
I am sure that you will have noticed the drop in the frequency of not just the Amazon but also the Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrisons, ASDA and other delivery vans driving down local roads.
It is a sign of the times – it really is all change from the lockdowns but with new ‘normals’ being created.
Slower internet sales growth
I know that my own regular internet purchases have dwindled to just a monthly tickle.
I would guess that the pace of internet sales growth must have been slowing over the last three months or so.
The question is whether ‘Black Friday’ will see a mega-pick up or not. Will shoppers still fall for the falsehood of the massive reductions?
Is the ROI a con?
As the UK endures its fragile economic recovery, pointers are made of the rate of inflation.
Currently the official figure is 4.5% to 5%, even the average EU rate is around 6.5% – I just don’t believe it!
It does not take me to make a trip around Waitrose or Tesco stores to know that shopping basket prices have risen significantly higher than the ROI.
10%, 15% even 20% increases are commonplace.
And as for the recent cost of gas or fuel – well that is certainly way above the ROI. Just look how many energy firms have gone bust in the last couple of months.
What is evident is that the Old Lady will have to do more than raise interest rates to try to balance out such pressures – but what?
There are reports that retail footfall has improved of late.
For my part I do see consumer spending beginning to rise again, but is that just the pre-seasonal rush or is it a trend that is set to continue?
Apparently, there is an easing of the pressure of disappearing HGV drivers, with numbers of more vacancies being filled in the last month.
Let us hope that supply chain hassles are going to reduce too.
Ready to take off
I do not know what type of pointer that this is – but I note that the private jet market is operating at very high rates of activity.
It is very evident that now Corporate UK must prove its management ability to cope with these ongoing hassles and pressures. It has to continue to focus upon making profits.
Dull equity market
The lower dealing volumes of late strongly indicate that the excitement has gone out of the market for a while.
How long will such dullness last?
I suggest that it will possibly be until the Christmas/New Year ‘tipping’ season gets underway, with City columns giving their pronouncements upon the coming year.
Looking forward I do believe that we will handle the bumpy times and progress upwards in 2022.
My pre-seasonal message is a familiar one to regular readers – stick to the UK Small Capital ‘Value Stocks’ – do not get tempted into the whizz bang high P/E wonders, especially so in such uncertain times.
PS – By the way the Amazon tale was pure dramatic fiction