With the New Year holiday this weekend, we’re closing the offices tomorrow to start our celebrations early. That means it’s time to review the latest economic data and identify which pockets of the economy are heating up and which are slowing down. Don’t worry about catching every headline and every report throughout the week—I recap all of the most important news impacting your wealth right here at the end of every week. So, let’s take a look at this week’s big headlines…
This morning, the U.S. Census Bureau reported wholesale inventories for November 2017 reached an end-of-month level of $610.2 billion. That’s up 0.7% from October of this year, and it’s up 3.8% from November of last year.
Adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, November retail inventories were estimated at an end-of-month level up 0.1% from October 2017 and up 1.9% from November 2016. That puts last month’s retail inventories at an estimate of $619.1 billion. This is all positive news for GDP.
Consumer Confidence Report
On the tail of back-to-back 17-year highs of 126.2 in October and a revised 128.6 in November, on Wednesday, consumer confidence dropped to only 122.1. In addition, assessment of the future jobs market fell nearly 2 percentage points. This allowed pessimists to rise more than 4 points to 16.3%. The gain among those seeing their incomes rising was offset by a simultaneous increase in those seeing their incomes falling.
However, this bad news doesn’t include any assessment of the current jobs market. In the current jobs market indicator, only 15.2% say jobs are hard to get right now. That’s opposed to 16.8% in November and 17.1% in October. This strength dominates the report and happily offsets the other, more negative readings.
It’s been a short week. So, that’s all I have for you today. Keep in mind, I won’t be in touch again until next Tuesday, after New Year’s Day, with the latest ratings out of Portfolio Grader. Have a safe and pleasant holiday!
Happy New Year,