This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 16 August 2019

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Aug 17, 2019

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 16 August 2019

Markets gyrated this week as the spread between the ten- and two-year Treasury's turned negative for the first time since 2007. Financial markets seem to expect that the sharp slowdown in growth overseas will soon spread to the United States.  Economic data this week, however, continued to say otherwise. Retail sales again beat expectations, rising 0.7% in July. Sales were boosted by the 2.8% surge at non-store retailers (read: Amazon Prime Day,) but were broad-based. Ten of 13 categories posted increases, while core sales jumped 1.0%. Consumer confidence may get another boost heading into the holiday season on news Tuesday that the administration will delay the imposition of 10% tariffs on approximately $155 billion of imports from China that were scheduled to go into effect September 1. The exempted products electronics, toys, etc... suggest the delay is intended to shield consumers from a tariff-related surge in prices just before the gift-giving season and to shield the administration from political blowback. The consumer which comprises roughly 70% of the economy has been carrying the weight the past few quarters, and to a large extent has avoided much of a spill over from all the trade uncertainty. 




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Unlike Yordan Alvarez, no one is expecting the Fed to stand back and admire their handiwork after this weeks 50 basis point increase in the Fed Discount Rate. Similar to Yordan, their effort is more of a single and not a home run.

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The ISM services index came in stronger than expected, and the underlying details pointed to service sector resilience with business activity and new orders notching their highest reading this year.

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It was a mildly busy week for foreign economic data and events, while global COVID-19 cases continued to rise.


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