The consumer is retrenching. First, it was the carmakers reporting lower sales for June and revising their full-year forecasts downward. Then, it was the retail sector that posted declining activity, with slippage in receipts at restaurants, sporting goods outlets, and department stores. Finally, a recent issuance showed a drop in sentiment among the public.
The good news is coming on several fronts as the third quarter proceeds. First, the Institute for Supply Management reported a jump in manufacturing in June, boosted by a surge in new orders. Then, that trade group issued data showing a pickup in non-manufacturing, led, as well, by strengthening orders.
If you’re just starting to take charge of your financial future, it can be stressful approaching financial planning with confidence. Do you ever talk to your bank or financial manager and think that they’re speaking a foreign language?
The third quarter is likely to begin in much the same way that the second three months ended. That is, we expect some reports to show increasing economic strength, while others suggest the economy is proceeding less smoothly.
If you’re a fan of political dramas on televisions, you’ll know that the turbulent world of politics has an affect on the global financial markets. But what about in real life? How much does art - if you can call shows like Scandal, Veep, and House of Cards art - imitate life, and vice versa?
The long-running economic expansion continues to have its share of ups and downs. Importantly, though, the good times have not been sufficiently strong to alter the understated character of the expansion, while the soft patches have not been serious enough to put the advance in jeopardy.
The long expansion is showing signs of strain. True, we aren’t facing the headwinds that limited growth to 1.2% in the first quarter. However, manufacturing, retailing, and job growth again are seeing choppiness after appearing to hit their stride earlier.
Smart-phones are less of an option these days and more of an extension of everyday life. Your phone is there for you when you need to know the weather, connect with your friends and colleagues, and when you just have to post that perfect Instagram of yesterday’s brunch.
Some food for thought has been presented to the economic bulls, namely that the economy, which has firmed up some this quarter, has yet to strengthen to the degree expected a few weeks ago.
Summer’s finally here. The sun is out, it’s warm, the days are longer, and your worries seem just a little bit further away. But, folks, I’m sorry to say, sometimes storms roll in on the sunniest of days.