I have mentioned before that the U.S. consumer will play a very important role in order for the current U.S. expansion to continue. This expansion has been aided over the years with accommodative monetary and pro-growth fiscal policies. Now that interest rates are higher and pro-growth initiatives, like tax cuts, may be harder to pass due to a split congress, more pressure will be placed on consumers to keep the party going.
However, this week’s soft retail sales report brings into question whether the consumer is in a position or willing to spend enough to keep the expansion going. I do believe the soft retail sales report is an outlier, as consumers had to contend with a myriad of bad news during the end of 2018. Even if it is an outlier, the U.S. will need some help from the world’s largest economies to keep the expansion going, however, I think the help may be hard to find. Read more from Ryan Nauman's Weekly Recap and subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox each week!