Tag Archives: consumer

Implications of a Rate Hike for Consumers

The real issue when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates for the first time is not as much an issue of magnitude for consumers. The intended first rate hike will be small in size; it will not represent a do-or-die scenario for consumers. The Fed’s own estimates suggest that the first increase could easily come [...]

Growth in 2Q Revised Much Higher

The economy expanded at a revised 3.7% pace in the second quarter, almost 1.5% stronger than initial estimates for the period. The changes were driven by a strong upward revision to business investment. Commercial construction activity was particularly strong, while the contraction in equipment spending is now significantly less than initially reported.

Inflation Remains Cool

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a slightly less-than-expected 0.1% in July, with weakness in energy, vehicle and airfares offsetting continued increases in shelter costs. Prescription drug costs also continue to rise,

Incomes Solid, Outlays Moderate

Personal disposable incomes rose 0.2% in the month of June after adjusting for inflation. The inflation-adjusted data on Personal Consumer Expenditures (PCE) were essentially flat. The numbers were not as bad as they appeared

Revisions Smooth Path of Growth

The overall economy expanded at a 2.3% pace in the second quarter after rising at an upwardly revised 0.6% pace in the first quarter. Benchmark revisions, which incorporate new data and attempt to deal with the first quarter seasonal problems, helped to smooth the path of growth in recent years.

Multifamily Market Hot: Inflation Tepid

Housing starts rebounded to a 1.174 million-unit pace in June, while the decline for May was slightly less than initially reported. Gains were concentrated in the multi-family market as builders are still rushing to meet what they see as a permanent shift by millennials to move to urban centers and delay marriage and having children; [...]

Prices Jump on Gas and Airfares

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in May, driven by a sharp increase in prices at the pump. The overall index, however, remained unchanged from a year ago

Consumers Emerge From Cave

Retail sales jumped 1.2% in May from April as hibernating consumers emerged from their caves. Vehicle sales fueled overall gains but were not as strong as we expected, given the near-record, 17.8 million-unit, annualized pace we saw for the month. Incentives were sweetened to drain dealer inventories. Some of the gains we saw also likely [...]

Saving Rate Up, Inflation Slow

Income growth jumped a better-than-expected 0.4% in April. Disposable income rose a slightly more moderate 0.3%. All of those gains, however, were saved as consumers essentially tread water in terms of spending during the month. Indeed, spending actually dropped slightly,

GDP Slips into the Red

Real GDP fell by 0.7% in the first quarter, almost one percent lower than initial estimates. The bulk of the slowdown may be attributed to a smaller-than-initially-reported buildup in inventories, slower consumer spending and stronger imports. The only upside revision was to residential investment, which reflects the glimmer of light we have seen in housing [...]