GOOD NEWS ON THE CONSUMER SPENDING FRONT …
We’ve written previously on how the election of U.S. president Donald Trump has caused a spike in consumer optimism. For that spike to mean anything, though, it must sustain itself … and translate into expanded consumer activity (which in turn will feed the growth cycle of jobs and incomes).
Is that “sustaining” happening?
So far … yes.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census, headline retail sales surged by 0.4 percent in January on the heels of a sluggish holiday season. That’s well above the 0.1 percent clip Wall Street analysts were expecting. Excluding weak automotive sales the figure was even higher – 0.8 percent, double the expected 0.4 percent growth rate.
On a year-over-year basis, retail sales were up by 5.6 percent – which according to our friends at Zero Hedge represents the “biggest annual increase in nearly five years.”
That’s obviously very good news …
Don’t get us wrong: The American economy, still reeling from sixteen years of status quo rule, is nowhere near the vicinity of “out of the woods.” Beyond the damage done by a decade-and-a-half of anti-growth policies, there remain major global headwinds for consumers and producers alike to confront.
Still, it’s nice to see the needle being moved in the right direction for a change …
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