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Investing Specialists

Consumers Back in the Saddle Again

The data looked stunningly good across a range of indicators this week.

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This week's set of economic data was stunningly good across a range of indicators: retail sales, inflation, and even the previously faltering manufacturing sector.

The retail news was particularly strong as the sector posted its fifth consecutive month of sequential growth in excess of 6% on an annualized basis. That should provide for more growth in both employment and the manufacturing sector in the months ahead.

Clarity on the Bush tax cuts and unemployment benefits, sharply improving markets, and new stimulus money (in the form of a 2% cut in the payroll tax) should give consumers even more cash to spend in the months ahead.

Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.