Two sources of financial information — one that looks back and one that peers ahead — suggest that the U.S. economy is poised for continued growth in the new year.
American businesses see the economy continuing to expand, though moderately, and consumers are slightly less optimistic than they were as 2017 ended.
Buoyed by the election of Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s control of Congress, confidence among U.S. small businesses stayed strong throughout 2017 — and well it should, given some of the trends in the economy.
The U.S. economy created 148,000 jobs in December, fewer than economists expected, but the manufacturing and construction sectors hired more people and there have been additional recent signs that manufacturing is improving.
As 2017 neared an end, sales of new and existing homes were strong, consumer spending was up, inflation remained low and consumer confidence, though it slipped a bit, was still at a high level.
A day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point and noted that “household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate,” the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.8 percent in November.
The November jobs report was solid, but it was just one of the positive economic stories that emerged last week.
Two key barometers of American consumers show that they were robustly confident in the U.S. economy as 2017 neared its end.
The November readings of two important barometers indicated that the U.S. economy is poised for continued growth as 2017 comes to a close.
Housing starts posted a double-digit gain in October, retail sales and inflation increased somewhat and indexes that attempt to capture the mood of small businesses and homebuilders showed improvement as 2017 winds down and the holiday shopping season ramps up.
Consumer borrowing was strong in September and consumer confidence slipped slightly as November began, but it remains at a high level during the holiday shopping season in the latest update of one of the top barometers of the public mood in the United States.
Americans seem less cautious about using credit cards for purchases and the saving rate dropped to 3.1 percent in September — its lowest level since the start of the Great Recession.
Consumer confidence is high in the United States right now, and why shouldn’t it be?
Three important barometers — gross domestic product, new-home sales and consumer confidence — are showing solid improvement and their latest results point toward continued growth in the fourth quarter.
The U.S. economy is growing at a modest to moderate pace and there are few signs that inflation is going to increase and slow the gains.
As consumer sentiment, measured by the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index, rises to its highest level since 2004, the mood among small businesses is growing less optimistic.
The September employment report, though disappointing — a loss of 33,000 jobs — did not cause economists to lose faith in the strength of the U.S. economy.
The hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida in August and September caused a slight decline in consumer confidence, but the nation’s two primary gauges of the public mood remain at high levels.