MacroSavvy™

Retail spending lifted by strong May and revisions

The U.S. retail sales trend in 2018 suddenly looks stronger as a result of a healthy month of May and upward revisions to prior months as reported by the government. Sales are up about 4.5% year-to-year for the first five months. That’s more than half a percentage point stronger than the (YTD) pace reported a […]

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spending confidence trends

Confidence affirms tepid spending outlook—except for Millennials

The outlook for consumer spending remains tepid as confidence to spend over the next 90 days again moved sideways in May—with Millennials showing the only notable sign of improvement. As a result, retail spending should keep to the slower pace that has emerged in recent months (more on retail spending here). The Millennial bounceback from […]

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Modest retail spending pace is better than year ago

Outside of ecommerce sales, furniture and furnishings is a lone bright spot among retail spending that is settling back into a modest pace of year-to-year growth in the wake of a strong holiday. Ecommerce sales are sustaining strong growth of 15% or more, according to a combination of the latest quarterly ecommerce sales and monthly […]

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macro trends

Consumers lead slowdown in Q1 economic growth

The U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter of 2018, driven to a large extent by a big slowdown in consumer spending. The results confirm a post-holiday return to less robust consumer spending (more here) and raise some concern about the outlook—even if market analysts discount the overall economic letup as temporary, Below are highlights […]

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spending confidence trends

Millennials lead Spending Confidence lower in April

Millennials pulled down consumers’ confidence to spend in April—with the food and clothing categories taking the brunt of weaker spending confidence. The latest results tend to confirm that a brief Spring burst of confidence in the wake of tax cuts is being deflated by economic jitters fed by talk of trade wars, rising fuel prices, […]

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Spending letup persists—adjusting for an early Easter

Adjusting for the impact of an early Easter this year, consumers’ retail spending through March remains slower than the strong November-December holiday period. The slowdown is in retail sales excluding autos, fuel, and restaurant. Taking a toll on sales are higher fuel prices and stronger spending on autos in March. Also a factor—besides late winter […]

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Consumer price trends

Price pressures add to headwinds, weigh on retail

The economic headwinds appear to be gaining strength with price inflation edging higher through early 2018 as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The brunt of the headwinds likely will be felt by the (retail) goods sector of the economy, where flat or falling prices leave the retail sector most vulnerable to threats to demand […]

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