Find The Major Economic Trend Hidden In This Picture
Published Friday, November 15, 2019 at: 7:00 AM EST
Major economic trends are always in front of us, hidden in plain sight. The spectacular real retail sales growth trend is in this picture, but you won't see it unless you know to look for it.
Real retail sales are spectacular, adjusted for inflation. Since March 2019, real retail sales shot almost straight up in a short time and were already at a record territory for several years.
Retail sales are a proxy for consumer strength and consumers drive 70% of the economy. So, this is an influential trend. However, unless you know to adjust retail sales for inflation, you would miss the trend. That's how the media reported it.
After the U.S. Commerce Department released the latest monthly retail sales figures on Friday morning, the financial press and financial cable TV channels reported that October's three-tenths of 1% uptick over September allayed fears of a downturn, but it was nothing spectacular. They missed the hidden trend in the economic picture by not adjusting retail sales for inflation.
Inflation is at a long-term low and is not showing any sign of returning anytime soon to its past performance in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. A low inflation rate masks strong real growth in consumer spending. The trend is unfolding in the current investment picture. Spotting it requires a trained eye and the media and financial press may not always recognize such hard to read changes in the economic fundamentals.
Viewed from this perspective, the newly released retail sales data helps explain why stocks broke a new record for the third consecutive week, with the S&P 500 closing on Friday at 3,120.46.
This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial or tax advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Tax laws are subject to change. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. No one can predict the future of the stock market or any investment, and past performance is never a guarantee of your future results.
This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Advisor Products and is not intended as legal or investment advice.
- Strong Jobs Report Caps A Week For The Record Books
- Why Stocks Rose Friday Despite A Rise In Inflation In April
- Weekly Investor Update
- The Confluence Of Bad News For Recent Retirees And Those About To Retire
- Good And Bad News This Week For Investors
- Getting There: The Economic Balancing Act Progressed In March
- Stocks Gained Friday But Closed Fractionally Lower For The Week
- Good News On Inflation But A Recession May Be Hard To Avoid
- Analysis: The First Data Since The Banking Crisis Erupted In March
- Stocks Gained 7% First Quarter And Other Good Financial News
- Despite Bank Fears And A Fed Hike, Stocks Climbed For The Week
- Bank Panic And Strong 1Q '23 Economic Growth
- Mixed Economic Signals And A Bank Failure
- Service Sector Remained Strong In February, Soothing Investors For Now
- Inflation Rose In January, Indicating Tight Monetary Policy May Continue Into 2024
- Amid Divergent Data, Here's What To Know
- Optimistic Again, Will A Fed Algorithm Be Right Again?
- The Bipolar Economy Of 2023
- On Wednesday, We’ll Know If The Federal Reserve Will End Inflation By Causing A Recession
- Technology Drove S&P 500 1.9% Higher Friday, But Look At Tech's Terrible 2022 Loss
- Here What To Know To Invest Wisely
- Prudence Requires Positioning Portfolios For An Economic Expansion