June CPI data showed some moderation, and consumers could see more price relief in the future.
Although inflation has ticked up from 2013 levels, it remains below its historical average and a long way from a worrisome level, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Consumer savings rates are great leading indicators for future consumption, and the current savings rate has increased appreciably in the last few months.
Increasing employment and income data suggest that retail sales could accelerate even more from here.
Despite some weak headline numbers, this week's economic data show ongoing year-over-year improvement, but they still don't change Morningstar's Bob Johnson's GDP outlook.
A possible bank default and soft industrial production figures have rekindled some nervousness about the European recovery.
More small-business hires, a better mix of job openings, and the potential for wage growth--while positive trends--won't change Morningstar's Bob Johnson's GDP forecast.
A shrinking working-age population in the U.S. might be good for the employed but a drawback for corporations.
Shopping center data hit new highs, auto sales broke all expectations in June despite strong headwinds, and pending home sales made one of their biggest jumps in the recovery.
A sharp downward revision to first-quarter GDP will have many economists reaching for their erasers, but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Many factors have contributed to the strong rise in multifamily housing starts, and now single-family homes are getting a boost as we move further past the recession.
A skills mismatch and lack of labor mobility could trouble the employment market.
This economic report offers timely sentiment on possible market recessions, but beware the short-term noise.
The ECB's stimulus measures should help, but the questions remain, when and how much?
When examined more carefully, the economy seems to be picking up a little bit of steam.
With GDP being increasingly tied to huge swings in inventory and trade data, investors need to look deeper into reports to get a sense of the strength of the underlying economy, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
During the last 30 years, the U.S. has doubled the output of manufacturing goods, but employment is down by one third.
The sentiment pendulum has swung too far in the negative direction on housing.
Discussion of the Fed's lending rate should take a back seat to more important economic movers, such as improving homebuying conditions and bank capital levels.
Just as the economic outlook was not as rosy as perceived a few months ago, it's not as dire as the data suggested this week, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Several retail sectors are seeing a weather-related boost, but Morningstar's Bob Johnson has some long-term concerns about the outlook for retail sales.
Exports are far more important to U.S. GDP than ever, and oil and gas have led the way.
Additional oil and gas production and shipments explain why the trade deficit has held steady or even improved amid the recovery.
Quite a while, if past recoveries are any indication.
After some truly horrendous data in December, January, and February, the economy needed its recent show of strength just to get back to the trend line.
As the credit and employment environments improve along with stabilized mortgage rates, the housing market should pick up steam starting this year.
Home sales might have a small thaw come spring, but now they're stuck in the waiting room.
Decent earnings news, a conciliatory Fed, and better-than-expected retail data boosted markets this week, but China and housing data remain troubling.
Auto sales and production are near their previous high marks, though there are some positives and negatives with employment.
Chinese imports and exports are lagging, indicating a slower growth economy.
This Case-Shiller index offers an apples-to-apples comparison of home prices and is a great indicator of what's happening in the housing market.
Will they ever stop springing up?
What this recovery has lacked in robustness it may make up for in longevity.
Those expecting a quick weather-related rebound in the economy may need to cool their enthusiasm.
While demand for multifamily homes surges, changing demographics have kept the single-family market near the bottom with ample room to grow.
U.S. gross domestic product won't hit booming levels anytime soon as the country's population growth remains low.
Slower long-term growth in China is probably an economic reality.
The jobs report and initial unemployment claims were much better than expected this week as weather effects began to diminish.
The retail sales report can be an early-warning sign for recessions, but we are still waiting to see if the current slowdown is related to weather or a true dip in demand, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Underneath all the changes in the fourth-quarter GDP data, the U.S. economy is still the same slow-moving ocean liner.
U.S. homebuilding starts are falling with the temperature, but they should thaw in spring, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Things started going south in November--before the elements did, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
Two months of weak employment reports and softness in manufacturing and housing have put the bulls' countdown clock on hold.
The period you examine makes a relatively large difference in guessing what the economy's true trend is.
The news wasn't all that bad, but U.S. equity markets, which have moved close to 30% in less than a year, were looking for an excuse to sell, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.
But the economy is not all roses, either.
A slowing auto-sales growth rate is why I am less bullish than most observers about overall GDP growth in 2014.
I'm still not buying the escape velocity, rapid acceleration, 3%-plus growth rate arguments for 2014
GDP, employment, and consumption growth have all been stuck in a very narrow range--and are likely to remain so in 2014.
Don't expect the third quarter's revised 4.1% growth rate to stick around, writes Morningstar's Bob Johnson.