The Good News Report
With all the bankruptcies, store closings and layoffs over the last few years, it is good hear some good news…
It wasn’t too long ago that analysts bemoaned the onset of the “retail apocalypse,” but retail earnings reports coming out in the past two weeks have them singing a different tune. On Wednesday, Target’s earnings presented investors with hope for the future and probably granted them a sigh of relief – the retailer flew past Wall Street’s expectations and saw its biggest sales growth in 13 years.
U.S. consumer sentiment is so strong that it’s even boosting shares of once-maligned retailers. Target Corp.’s stock jumped 3.2% on Wednesday to its first record high since 2015, after the company reported that comparable-store sales rose at the fastest pace in more than a decade.
Consumer spending is back and has never been better as far as Target CEO Brian Cornell is concerned. “There’s no doubt that, like others, we’re currently benefiting from a very strong consumer environment – perhaps the strongest I’ve seen in my career,” Cornell told analysts on a call Wednesday.
Atlanta Fed Lifts GDP Growth Estimate to 4.6% The Trump Effect Expands The US economy is growing at a 4.6% annualized rate in Q-3 following the government’s data on new-home sales and costs, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed Friday. Friday’s Atlanta Fed estimate is higher than the last estimate of 4.3% on 16 August.
Long-awaited wage growth posted its biggest increase of the economic recovery in August while payroll gains beat expectations and the unemployment rate held near a generational low of 3.9 percent, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report Friday. Average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent for the month on an annualized basis, while nonfarm payrolls grew by 201,000.
WASHINGTON-A robust economy drove U.S. wages higher in August, new evidence that workers are gaining bargaining power with their employers as the nation’s pool of available labor tightens. The Labor Department reported Friday that worker payrolls expanded by 201,000 in August and private-sector hourly wages grew 2.9% from a year earlier.
Most headlines from Friday’s August jobs report concerned the 2.9% increase in wages over the last 12 months, the healthiest raise in some time. That figure was probably overstated due to a weak August 2017 falling off the 12-month comparison, but other data are showing that wages after inflation are finally rising as you’d expect in a tight labor market.
It certainly isn’t the best of times or anywhere close to the worst of times, but the latest jobs report still told a story of two slightly different economic recoveries – or at least one that’s reaching a turning point. On the one hand, if you like good news, there was plenty of it.
Malls are being hollowed out. Shops are closing by the thousands. Retailers are going bankrupt. But it may be too early to declare the death of retail. Americans have started shopping more – in stores. From the garden section at Walmart to the diamond counters at Tiffany & Company, old-school retailers are experiencing some of their best sales growth in years.