Author: Scott Anderson

Consumers Spending Like There Is No Tomorrow

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

U.S. economic data continues to surprise on the upside through July.

The retail sales report for July reveals a remarkable rebound in retail sales has occurred over the last three months as the U.S. economy reopened for business and government transfer payments bolstered consumer confidence enough for consumers to return to stores with a vengeance.

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Employment Growth Decelerates In July

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

U.S. non-farm payroll growth in July beat consensus expectations, rising by 1.76 million jobs compared to expectations for 1.48 million.  However, this was a sharp deceleration from June’s 4.79 million job gain and May’s 2.725 million increase. This is likely to be the best jobs report we are likely to see for a while and probably exaggerates the health of the U.S. labor market today.

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Bye Bye Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

We received more confirmation this week that consumer spending bounced back strongly from its April lows. The $1,200 checks that were sent by the Federal Government to individuals certainly helped create the conditions for this reopening spending revival, but I would argue that expanded and supplemented unemployment insurance benefits have been much more targeted and effective in maintaining spending among the most vulnerable households.

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Evidence of a July U.S. Slowdown Emerging

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Last week we wrote about dark clouds building on the economic horizon as COVID-19 cases have surged in recent weeks. This week more evidence emerged that the spike in virus cases is indeed sucking the oxygen out of the robust economic recovery we have seen over the past two and a half months.

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