Skip to Content
Investing Specialists

Consumers Lay Another Egg for the Economy

The consumer numbers were not encouraging this week, but don't get whip-sawed by short-term data.

This week's indicators started off with a roar, as Monday's productivity number exceeded expectations, boding well for a stronger economy. Productivity along with population growth will be the key drivers of the economy over the next five years, so I devoted a separate report to the topic this week.

The rest of this week's data was mixed compared with last week's uniformly positive news. The data this week for manufacturing and for prices was bullish, while the consumer laid yet another egg. Retail sales and consumer confidence both came in well below expectations and were also down compared with the prior month.

While I am still confident in my 3%+ growth rate for the second half, it now appears that exports, manufacturing, and inventory rebuilding will play a larger role in that improvement. I caution readers that just as I shouldn't have gotten so overly confident in last week's great statistics, none of us should necessarily get bearish on the economy based on one week's worth of bad data--just more vigilant.