Weekly Economic Update, September 19th
RETAIL SALES DECREASE SLIGHTLY
Shoppers bought 0.3% less goods and services in August, according to the latest monthly report from the Department of Commerce – but minus auto sales, the decline was just 0.1%. Retail sales were still up 1.9% from year-ago levels, with online sales rising 10.9% in 12 months.1
CONSUMER COSTS RISE IN AUGUST
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% after a flat July, with the core CPI up 0.3%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the headline and core CPI to respectively advance 0.1% and 0.2%. August brought no change whatsoever in the Producer Price Index, which had fallen 0.4% a month earlier. Speaking of production, the Federal Reserve announced a 0.4% dip in industrial output for August, a marked difference from July’s 0.6% gain.2
HOUSEHOLD SENTIMENT INDEX SHOWS NO CHANGE
Friday, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index displayed an initial September reading of 89.8, duplicating its final August mark. In September 2015, the index was at 87.2.3
ROLLERCOASTER WEEK LEAVES STOCKS HIGHER
Investors hardly bided their time waiting for next week’s Federal Reserve interest rate decision – last week was full of dramatic ups and downs. Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 2,139.16, gaining 0.53% in five days. Rising 0.21% for the week, the Dow industrials settled at 18,123.80 Friday; the Nasdaq advanced 2.31% last week to 5,244.57. Gasoline futures jumped 7.4% on the NYMEX during the week, while oil prices fell 6.2%; crude settled Friday at $43.03.4,5
“The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance.”
– Laurence J. Peter
Just married? About to marry? Develop a plan to save jointly for your financial goals. If you both save for them, they may be attained more quickly.
I am soft and seldom upright. I lose a head in the morning, but I get it back at night. What am I?
Answer next week!
1 – tinyurl.com/gwvdd2w [9/15/16]
2 – marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [9/16/16]
3 – sca.isr.umich.edu [9/16/16]
4 – markets.wsj.com/us [9/16/16]
5 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-fall-market-braces-for-nigeria-libya-oil-2016-09-16 [9/16/16]