Read the highlights of this week's commentary from Helios:
Retail sales were flat for July, which was slightly weaker than the median estimate of a 0.1% gain, though it had some encouraging data under the hood. Falling gas prices significantly held back spending growth, but relief at the pump allowed consumers to focus their spending on other areas, such as online shopping, which rose 2.7%.
Industrial production rose 0.6% in July, fueled by motor vehicles and mining. However, it was less rosy in other areas of the economy, such as consumer goods, as retailers continue to try to shed excess inventories. The gain was double the consensus estimate with a +0.2% positive revision to June’s reading.
* As a side note, industrial production is one of the key indicators the NBER uses to determine recessions.
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