Market Commentary

Consumer Still in the Driver’s Seat

retail sales

We are getting catch up data released this week from the government shutdown and at the same time we are getting some reports that are delayed again. New home sales and durable goods orders for January are both delayed again.

Yesterday the consumer confidence index for February spiked up to 131.4 from 121.7 in January. This indicates that the consumer is happy and most experts believe that they spend money when they are happy, thus they will continue to drive the economy.

We have seen recent data pointing to a slowdown in economic activity in December but the data is old and sporadic at best. Though the consumer confidence index is not the most reliable gauge of what the consumer is actually doing at least it has the benefit of being current.

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