Announced this morning, Retail Sales for July decreased -1.1%, more negative than expected. Gasoline stations and Miscellaneous store retailers were strong, while Motor vehicle & parts dealers, Non-store retailers, and Clothing stores were all weak. The Control Group, which is a closer measure of the inputs for GDP by excluding sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, decreased -1.0% in July which is also more negative than expected. Overall, a weak reading on the headline number and the control group, which likely shows the impacts of coming off stimulus payments earlier in the year. Strong second quarter sales from Wal-Mart, with the company citing store traffic and stimulus spending, supports that view. The health of the consumer and the labor market will be closely watched as we move beyond the impact of fiscal stimulus in the months ahead. In all, the 10-year yield ticked higher following the release of the data and equity futures are lower as we head into the market open.
This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice, and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward-looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.