Retail Sales Better than Expected, by Newmark Grubb
Retail sales were better than expected last month (February) according to the Census Bureau, which reported that overall sales spiked 1.1 percent. Robert Bach, national Director, Market Analytics at Newmark Grubb wrote that while the details were mixed, the overall report suggests consumers aren’t throwing in the towel over taxes and gas prices. The wealth effect from the rising stock market, the rebound in home prices (quite sharp in some metros), and the improving labor market are outweighing the negatives, defying economists’ expectations for a weak start to the year.
Besides retail sales, job growth, housing and the stock market, other pockets of unexpected strength include business capital spending and manufacturing. Economists are watching carefully to see if the economy will cool off in the spring and summer as it has done for the past three years or if this confluence of better-than-expected data is sustainable.
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