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Investing Specialists

The U.S. Consumer, Alive and Well After All

A careful read of the data shows neither bust nor boom for consumer spending, but there may be more good news ahead.

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The amount of economic data this week was overwhelming with even more releases than usual, after almost no releases the previous week, because of the way the calendar fell. The news was generally bullish, especially looking at the data month to month. The year-to-year data mostly showed an economy that continued to muddle along.

Although incredibly difficult to analyze, the retail sales report showed that the consumer is still alive and well. Disastrous results in May and June were nearly reversed in July. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the consumer had been looking a little weaker recently, and consumers constitute more than 70% of the economy.

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