All Posts Tagged: consumer confidence

U.S. Outlook: The labor market is hot. Is it getting too hot?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The May jobs report revealed impressive strength and breadth in U.S. job creation that blew away most economists’ expectations.

Busy office setting with several well-dressed stock traders checking activity on their computer terminals.Employers added 223K non-farm jobs in May — a big step up from April’s 159K gain.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on June 1.

Key observations:

  • If you remember only one number from today’s report, it ought to be 3.8%, which is the unemployment rate for May and the lowest in 18 years.
  • This labor market tightness is gradually moving the needle on national wage growth, too.
  • From the Fed’s perspective, we are absorbing labor market slack at an impressive pace that is not sustainable without fueling a jump in wage and price growth if it continues in the months ahead.
  • The probability of four rate hikes in 2018 would be a lot higher today if it weren’t for the downside risks in the second half of the year from an escalating trade war.

 

Read my full report.

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Investment Insights: Gray Friday?

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
A woman looking at her phone, while shopping

Black Friday, the cornerstone of the domestic retail calendar, has amalgamated into a black weekend, Thursday night, or even an online experience that allows consumers to avoid the annual pilgrimage to the brick and mortar shopping mall. The question is whether this year’s sales will be bigger, better, and more extravagant than last year or will fickle spenders force stores to reverse course; close earlier, open later, and/or push shoppers to seek online deals.

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U.S. Outlook: Consumers remain a confident bunch

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing sharp increase in consumer confidence between Oct 2009 and June 2017

It’s been a long time coming, but more consumers are finally riding the wave of plentiful job opportunities, rising incomes, and improving net worth. Nowhere is this better reflected than in the current readings of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer confidence has only been at these nose‐bleed levels a handful of times over the last 40 years, notably […]

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Investment Insights: Excerpts from our Q1 strategy report

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
Aerial view of skyscrapers near the river in Shanghai

Everyone seems to be feeling pretty good about the economy and the markets, barring a sneaking suspicion about stock valuations.

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U.S. Outlook: Are confidence gains becoming delusional?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing recent rise in consumer confidence

Alan Greenspan coined the phrase “irrational exuberance” to describe the disconnect between stock market gains and economic fundamentals in the late 1990s. Is it time to use the phrase again? For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on March 31. Key observations: […]

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