August numbers: my two cents

The numbers for August are rosy (for now). There was plenty of bad news in August, and fears of recession and job uncertainty. However the sad part is that the households kept shopping in August and the revenue amongst the biggest 26 retailers jumped by 4.6% (for stores that were open for more than a year). However we still need to know how much was it due to inflation, and how much was organic revenue growth. The reason we look for consumer spending is that it is the driving force behind the U.S economy, i.e 70% of the U.S economy. But we have yet to decipher the underlying factors for the increase in revenues for these stores. It may be that the consumers have been spending what they have been saving for the last 6 months (the average U.S household debt has been on the decline for the last 6 months).

The job numbers are coming in tomorrow morning (Friday, September 2nd). The market expects 93,000 jobs to be created in August, which will not be sufficient to bring the unemployment down, but still better than what we had earlier in June (expectation of 118,000, actual 52,000).

Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. The market has been short-sighted and it is looking for any positive number. Media outlets have emphasized this statistic of unemployment benefits, however one week is not sufficient, given that the unemployment benefits have been extended to 99 weeks.

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