Can the U.S. Consumer Sustain?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Consumer confidence has rebounded strongly since August.
Record stock market prices and continued job growth have helped revive consumers’ spirts in recent months. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment measure jumped to 99.8 in its final reading for January – a full 10 point gain off the August lows and not far from the expansion highs of 101.4 hit way back in March of 2018.

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Monetary Medicine Floods the Financial Sector

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

2019 was shaped by the Fed pivot. The Fed had anticipated three quarter point interest rate hikes in 2019, only to quickly change course early last year and ultimately cut the Fed funds rate three times between July and October to forestall a deteriorating global and U.S. growth outlook.

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Mixed Outlook for U.S. Remains, Signs of Life from Abroad

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The takeaway from all the latest reports is that the U.S. economic outlook remains mixed with the balance of indicators continuing to point toward further slowing in the months ahead. But on the bright side, the U.S slowdown glide path we are on is gradual.

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A 2020 Forecast Upgrade Despite December Payroll Miss

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by only 145k jobs in December, a slight undershoot from the consensus forecast of 160k and our own forecast of 170k. This is a sharp deterioration from November’s 256k job gain.

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