All Posts Tagged: retail sales

U.S. Outlook: Consumers are on a roll

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Consumers are on a roll. But how long can it last? Consumer spending has been robust. Growth in nominal retail sales, including food services from a year ago, was 6.6% in August and has exceeded 6.0% over the last four months. Crowds of shoppers walking in a mall, focusing on their walking legs.

This is a clear sign of household strength and resilience at this stage of the expansion.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on September 14.

Key observations:

  • Annual growth in 2018 has averaged 6.1% through August compared to 4.1% over the same period in 2017.
  • Consumer confidence rose to an expansion high of 133.4 in August.
  • The fastest growing categories of retail spending have been gas stations (+20.3%), nonstore retailers (+10.4%), and restaurant and bars (+10.1%).
  • While personal savings rates still remain healthy, without faster real income growth to support it, consumer spending will inevitably slow.

Read my full report.

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U.S. Outlook: A softer start to the year

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Two signs in store window for sales - 50% and 70% - with reflection of shoppers faintly visible.

Unfortunately, the period of 3% GDP growth appears to already be in our rear-view mirror.

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U.S. Outlook: Retail sales shine in robust holiday shopping season

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
A woman looking at her phone, while shopping

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.

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

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing retail sales

Retail sales gains have been impressive over the last three months.

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U.S. Outlook: Positive economic surprises continue

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

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.

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