By Selina Stoller, Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC ***
Consumers are driving the U.S. economy and still have their foot on the pedal.
Rapid hiring and the lowest unemployment in several generations are boosting wages and making Americans better off financially. Recent data shows the U.S. economy has produced record job openings with an outstanding 304,000 gain in hiring in January.
Falling inflation and lower oil prices are also helping!
But what about some of the brow-raising reports? Conflicting, and at times confusing conclusions, are leaving investors cautious while the volatile Stock Market is leaving many perplexed.
Recent data marked the biggest drop in retail sales since the end of the last recession almost ten years ago. Some experts say the recent January retail sales slump could endanger President Trump’s goal of 3% GDP growth.
The slow housing market has been a thorn in the economy’s side. The lethargic home sale pace is mainly due to rising prices and a surge in mortgage rates toward the end of 2018. Last month the Federal Reserve backed off raising interest rates, which hopefully means more affordable homes and a much-needed break for the housing market.
Manufacturers are still expanding and hiring, just not at the same rate they were a few months ago due to looming trade disputes with China, a strong dollar making exports more expensive, a weaker global economy, and slower auto sales.
Wall Street anticipates an increase in orders for durable goods (products meant to least three years) from December 2018 thanks to a big increase in year-end orders for passenger planes and is anxious to see how orders for durable goods performed in January.
Whatever the case may be, uneven trends in housing and manufacturing are not enough to cast a shadow on the U.S. economy.
While the U.S. is not speeding like last spring, it is not about to hit the brakes into a recession.
- 19 Feb, 2019
- Josh Smith