Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Economy: The Return Of The U.S. Consumer

There is so much ado about the sluggish global economy and the high priests of doom & gloom are summoning the "next" recession. But the economy is much more robust than many think - which explains partly the stock market rally in the recent weeks.

Today we got news that retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.8% in July, the biggest rise since February and the first gain in four months (bloomberg). The gains last month were led by a 0.8% increase at auto dealers, a 0.6% rise at department stores that was the most since September, and a 0.9% advance at electronics and appliance outlets, reports Bloomberg.

It looks like that the re-acceleration of the retail is a response to the healing U.S. job market. The weekly jobless claims are trending lower and are now close to the lows of this decade (bespokeinvest). The shrinking risk to loose a job seems to encourage spending.  Also helpful is the recent rally on the stock market which boosts he wealth of many Americans.

This also is good news for the global economy because a growing U.S. retail translates into more exports for Volkswagen, Samsung and other European & Asian companies. It looks like that the U.S. consumer is still the engine of the global economy.

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