July retail sales hit a snag, falling 1.1% below the expected 0.3% decline, though the details of the report painted a bit of a better picture with a 0.7% of positive revisions, which was bigger than the total miss for July. The next few months could be difficult to judge due to the impacts of the fading stimulus and any Delta impacts, which began to slow down restaurant reservations and airline passenger numbers.
Debate continues within the Fed regarding when to begin tapering asset purchases. With the minutes of the last Fed meeting released, most of the committee agreed reducing asset purchases this year could be possible, though some want additional positive jobs reports before doing so.
Initial jobless claims continue to improve, falling to 348K and marking the fourth consecutive week of improving figures. The week’s decline was slightly better than expected (364K).