U.S. Outlook: Should we worry about the consumer?

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The short answer: not really.

Graph showing up-and-down trends of retail sales over the past several years.Despite weakness in January and February data, retail sales are still up a healthy 3.1% from a year ago.

For more details, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on March 18.

Key observations:
  • We forecast consumer spending will continue to drive this economic expansion forward.
  • Our current tracking estimate of U.S. Real GDP growth for the first quarter is 2.0%.
  • The combination of low gas prices and an improving housing market is driving increases in building-materials spending.
  • The latest job openings level is back near the cyclical highs of this economic expansion.
Click here to read my full report.


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