U.S. Outlook: Consumers go shopping in the fourth quarter

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Retail sales gains have been impressive over the last three months. Sales jumped in September in the aftermath of the hurricanes, but sales have largely continued surging into October and November. The November retail sales report, released earlier this week, easily beat consensus expectations and October sales were revised higher.Graph showing retail sales

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Dec. 15.

Key observations:

  • We have bumped up our forecast for real consumer spending in the fourth quarter to 3.1% annualized, which pushes up our real GDP estimate for Q4 to a solid 2.8% annualized.
  • The three month annualized growth rate for retail and food service sales is at a sizzling 11.7% through November.
  • Building material sales are holding more than 10% above year ago levels through November.

Read the full report.

 

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Investment Insights: Higher, flatter, lower

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
Back of young man looking at large window screen that has various market measurements on it, with city skyline in the background.

With the bond market viewed as an indicator of future economic health, some warning bells are starting to ring.

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Instant Analysis: FOMC decides to raise interest rates again

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Exterior of the Federal Reserve in winter, with bare trees with loads of branches slightly obscure the building.

The December FOMC decision to raise the Fed funds target rate another quarter percentage point reveals a chink developing in the armor of a unified FOMC. 

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U.S. Outlook: What we expect from the Federal Reserve next week

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing rise in total net worth of households.

Amid much anticipation, we expect the FOMC to vote next Wednesday to raise the Fed funds target rate range another quarter percentage point to between 1.25% and 1.50%.

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Instant Analysis: November Payroll report reveals robust job creation

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Modern, busy office with several people at desks, as young woman rushes by in a blur.

Overall, a solid payroll report very much in line with our expectations.

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