Better consumer spending data and a lower trade deficit should propel growth.

The data being released continues to send mixed signals. Last week it was the retail sales numbers. The economy has been thought to be slowing due to a weak consumption side. Retail sales were reported as having declined by a revised 2.1% in December and a very weak -0.2% in February. However, sales were reported as having increased 1.4%. Now the March data came in at 1.6%. This kind of volatility has led some to believe it is the beginning of slowdown in consumer spending that will lead to a recession in the next year. The problem is the weak data from December and February may have been impacted by the government shutdown which included the Commerce Department.

 

PROBANK AUSTIN ADVISOR - APRIL 22, 2019