Monthly Market Brief February 2017

Each month, our Heritage Investment team publishes a market brief to provide an overview of the major factors influencing the US economy, including a summary of key sectors and the current positives & challenges.

Click Market Brief February 2017 for February 2017 updates.

Here are some key highlights:

o POSITIVES:
o January non-farm payroll jobs came in at a solid 227,000 for a pace 50,000 jobs greater than the monthly average reported in 2016
o Inflation data remains tame but continues to trend higher as year-on-year total PCE increased 1.6%
o Consumer spending ended 2016 up 2.5 percent with spending on durable goods, particularly autos, reflecting the biggest gain in consumer spending followed by a 10.2% pop in residential investment
o Manufacturing posted strong gains in January with both the ISM & PMI, Manufacturing Indices reporting strength in new orders and increasing input costs in
response to demand
o CHALLENGES:
o Even while job growth continues at a relatively strong pace and the unemployment rate of 4.8% is at target, there is still apparent slack in the labor market as wage pressure remains relatively weak at 2.5%
o Consumer spending increased 0.5% in December; however, the increase is likely lower quality spending as a 0.2% decrease in consumer savings likely helped fund the increase