After two consecutive quarters of more than 3.0% real GDP growth in 2017, you could be forgiven for starting to believe the hype of the administration’s 3.0 or 4.0% annual growth forecasts for the coming years.
Unfortunately, the period of 3% GDP growth appears to already be in our rear-view mirror.
For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Feb. 16.Key observations:
- After a surge in spending in September, October, and November, consumers have grown stingy in December and January.
- Bad weather in January could have contributed to the weakness in sales that month, but that isn’t the whole story, in our opinion.
- In all fairness, we are probably not seeing the impact of the personal tax cuts passed in December in these retail sales numbers.
- We’ve revised our real GDP forecast for the first quarter of 2018 down to 2.1%.
Read More ›
December retail sales came in at a robust pace, and November sales were revised higher, cementing a decent increase in real consumer spending for the fourth quarter.Read More ›
Retail sales gains have been impressive over the last three months.Read More ›
The Bloomberg economic surprise index is at its highest level since March, as U.S. economic indicators have been generally surpassing economists’ forecasts over the past month.Read More ›
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.Read More ›