Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 is ending with great prospects for 2014

The past two weeks suggest that the US economy is finishing 2013 strong. Among the reports suggesting an improving economy were:

ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing
- Both unexpectedly higher

Gross Domestic Product
- Significantly higher than expectations

Employment Situation
- New jobs topped 200,000 last month

Retail Sales
- Very strong in November

Consumer Sentiment
- Gaining strength, particularly future expectations

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
- Improving

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
- Improving

Consumer and Producer Prices
- No current upward pressure on prices

From these positive reports we can summarize the following trends:

- Business activity is improving.
- The job market is improving.
- Consumers have more confidence and are spending more.
- Inflation is virtually non-existent.

While 2013 has two weeks remaining, it appears headed for a strong finish. If holiday spending continues on its current trend and the US Federal Reserve does not provide any unexpected policy changes during its meeting this week, the US economy will be poised to continue to improve as we enter 2014. That is positive news indeed!

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