Consumer sentiment slips in mid-July read but still at high level
Consumer sentiment slipped in early July but remained nearly equal to the average in the prior twelve months (97.7) and since the start of 2017 (97.4). So far, the strength in jobs and incomes has overcome higher inflation and interest rates. The darkening cloud on the horizon, however, is due to rising concerns about the potential negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy. While consumers may not understand the intricacies of trade theory, they have substantial experience making decisions about the timing of discretionary purchases based on prospective trends in prices.
June retail sales rose 0.5 percent from May and 6.6 percent year-on-year
Retail sales increased 0.5 percent in June, for the largest gain since September 2017, and were up 6.6 percent year-on-year. Total sales for the April 2018 through June 2018 period were up 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago.
July Empire State Manufacturing Survey index dips two points to 22.6
The headline general business conditions index edged down by over two points to 22.6—still a high level, suggesting a continuation of robust growth. Looking ahead, firms were slightly less optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month.