Job growth overall may moderate in the coming months, but April gains in higher-paying jobs is a good sign.
The consumer-related categories have been the only engines really driving economic growth, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
The sharp decline in the trade deficit is good for the GDP calculation, but casts some doubt on the strength of consumer demand, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
Market participants are instead cheering a rise in oil prices and the fact that earnings season could be a lot worse.
A closer look at yearly auto-sales figures reveals that the Great Recession has played a big part in the industry's volatile demand, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Many world-growth indicators have looked better recently; meanwhile, the IMF checks in with yet another reduction in its 2016 forecast.
Strong equity returns in March brought the market back to where it started the year.
Weather and other factors have caused retail sales to bounce around, but on a year-over-year basis consumers are still doing OK, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
Surprisingly low auto sales and recent trade data don't bode well for first-quarter GDP, but we're not particularly concerned.
A string of weak data portends a weak first-quarter GDP reading, but that doesn’t mean investors should panic about the underlying state of the economy, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
A shrinking work week and lackluster hourly wage growth amid higher inflation could be pinching consumers, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
While demographics suggest a flat working population, 2 million people added to the workforce in the last few months is a sign of labor market health, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
The Fed is underestimating some of the risks, particularly inflation, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
Canada and Brazil--not China--have been bigger factors in recent export declines.
Residential investment growth is likely to outpace business investment spending in 2016 for the second year in a row.
Flash PMI data improved for Europe, but fears still linger. Plus, a divergence in U.S. existing and new-home sales data.
Core inflation may be heating up as the Fed is putting too much confidence in low energy prices.
The central bank's opinion of the U.S. economy isn't much changed, but it confirmed suspicions that it won't be able to raise rates as quickly as it'd hoped, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
A toxic combination of slow growth, limited ability to raise prices, and ongoing wage pressures has put small-business profit growth on hold.
Although small-business confidence and hiring data was down somewhat, the economy is far from falling off a cliff, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Since the financial crisis, outstanding mortgage debt has not recovered at the same pace as home prices.
Auto sales and construction data this week suggest the U.S. economy has so far not been materially affected by international growth woes.
The bounceback in same-store sales further suggests that consumers haven't closed their wallets just yet and fall's lackluster numbers were only a weather-related hiccup.
If the Fed stands true to its word, it really does need to act now based on this week's surprising PCE inflation data.
Although housing data remains choppy, it will continue to boost GDP growth and bring several knock-on effects in 2016, says Morningstar's director of economic analysis.
Headline inflation seemed tame, but some of the underlying data, including rent and services inflation, are truly worrisome.
New data shows that concerns over the economy sliding into a recession after December's data were overblown, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Retail sales data has been noisy month to month, but the long-term growth trend has been remarkably steady, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
A near-record number of employees quitting their jobs and signs that small-business owners are boosting wages are two more reasons to think the labor market remains in good shape, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Looking at employment data year over year, using a three-month moving average, offers a clearer picture of the U.S. job market.
More important than the headline number were the falling unemployment rate, much higher-than-expected wage growth, and even upward movement in the number of hours worked.
After strong December jobs growth, a slowdown in January shouldn't be taken as a sign that the U.S. economy is under pressure, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
While the sequential GDP growth number didn't look good, same-quarter to same-quarter growth has been much less volatile.
Morningstar's Bob Johnson tackles reader questions on GDP estimates, housing, and adjusting retail-sales data for inflation.
U.S. government spending will be a bigger contributor to GDP growth in the years ahead as tax revenue increases and the sequestration era comes to a close.
After deflation adjustments, the retail sales data was quite positive, at least for consumers.
China may be the proximate cause of the recent stock market carnage, but Morningstar's Bob Johnson doesn't see signs yet that the country's slowdown is having an impact on the fundamentals of the U.S. economy.
Weak U.S. headline economic data helped fuel the sell-off this week, but don't be tricked by short-term anomalies.
Per recent manufacturing indicators, Europe's economy may surprise on the upside in 2016, while China is likely to continue stumbling along, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Strong U.S. employment growth stands in stark contrast to Chinese market woes.
December's gains don't foretell rapid economic expansion, but they are a sign of the country's resilience, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Data suggest that Friday's employment report could yield a better-than-expected headline number thanks in part to a spike in hiring at year-end, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
The U.S. economy is mostly insulated from a slowing China, but that doesn’t mean a smooth ride ahead, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
Slowing population growth rates and an aging population make it unlikely that the U.S. or any developed market can ever again reach sustained 3%-plus growth rates.
Goods consumption data this week hardly suggest the gun-shy consumer that the media is portraying.
Estimates were overly optimistic for a broad range of economic indicators this year, except for one.
Labor market tightening, housing shortages, and an eventual stabilization in commodity prices could move inflation sharply higher, upsetting the Fed's gradual strategy.
The Fed's plan to gradually raise rates in the coming years won't derail the economy and brings some certainty to the market, says Morningstar’s Bob Johnson.
Credit availability rebounded more soundly in autos following the credit crisis but will be less of a factor for both industries going forward.
A lot of retail categories did unusually well last month, while housing-related categories took a breather.