Category: It’s the Economy

March Retail Forecast: Firing on All Cylinders

Retail sales set a record during 2018. We have seen record non-seasonally adjusted retail sales during January and February of 2019. March is normally a strong month for retail sales due to the Spring Housing Market. Expect non-seaosnlly adjusted retail sales growth in all sectors month to month and march to March. The seasonally adjusted sales may have one of two slower sales levels March to March.

March Jobs Report Rebound

The March Jobs number rebounded from the “weak” headline number last month. Last month the Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data was “weak” and the Current Population Survey (CPS) jobs data was strong. This month the CES data was strong and the CPS data was weak. Long term we are seeing full-time jobs replace part-time jobs.

March ADP Surprised

Last month the ADP report came in much stronger than the monthly employment situation report from the government. This month the January and February ADP data was revised lower. This month instead of expansion in Manufacturing, Construction and Financial Services we saw the ADP data contract.

Fourth Quarter GDP: Stripped Gears

The final GDP growth for 2018 remained at 2.9% even after the quarter to quarter growth rate was reduced from 2.6% to 2.2% and the same quarter growth rate was revised from 3.1% to 3.0%. There were downward revisions to all four main categories for the annualized, quarter to quarter growth, and three of the four categories for the same quarter GDP calculations.

February Real Estate Data Could Spike

The housing data from the first month or two often set the pace fr the rest of the year. This year, we missed the starting gun because of the Government Shutdown. It is possible that we could receive a larger than expected bounce in the new construction data, the new home sales data, and the existing home sale data. This is a twelve lap race and we are in lap two.

What is the story behind the declining household worth story?

What the recent report of declining household wealth a hiccup or a heart attack? Was it something different? Whereas some economists and pundits are projecting “non-existent” annualized GDP growth of 0.5% for first quarter, it is more likely that we will see between 1.5% and 2.5% annualized growth, and possibly even better han the 2.6% reported during fourth quarter of 2018.