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Investing Specialists

Just When You Thought Manufacturing Couldn't Get Any Better

Bodies in motion continued to stay in motion this week.

"Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it."--Isaac Newton

Economic news this week was further proof of Newton's First Law. Consumer spending, inflation, manufacturing, and the Chinese economy continued on their strong upward trajectories. Lately, I have been a real worrywart concerning high inflation potentially slowing the economy. I still hold to that belief, but that certainly wasn't evident in this week's economic reports.

Retail sales--excluding autos and gasoline--powered ahead by 0.6% in March. Even pokey restaurant sales continued to show renewed signs of life. It also didn't hurt that consumers stuck in their current homes decided to splurge on more home furnishings and building materials. Manufacturing seems to have a life of its own, too, as both the Empire State manufacturing report for April and the nationwide industrial production report for March came in well above expectations.

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