Retail Sales for July were higher by .6% and May and June's data were revised higher as well, based on higher auto sales (+1.4%) and restaurants (+.7%).
I have continued to expound, regularly, on the changing demographic of the consumer and while this latest data does not change our longer-term outlook, it may encourage the US Federal Reserve, giving their forecast on better US economic growth for the 2nd half of 2015 greater credibility (although data revisions can and may make these numbers less reliable in the short-term).
Even though there may be some better US domestic data, there are still global forces at work and recent economic activity in China (slowing export growth and currecy devaluation) and other developing economies as well as lower inflation data in Europe are all necessary considerations for the Fed in its September policy deliberations.
While many believe that a 1/4% increase in the Fed Funds rate will not be significant, it does have the ability to add uncertainty to an already struggling global economic situation.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist