WHAT THEY're SAYING...
U.S. ECONOMY KEEPS SURGING
Friday's second quarter GDP report continues the recent string of good economic news we’ve seen.
Companies have repatriated $306 billion from overseas, more than 1.2 million jobs have been created since tax reform became law, and unemployment is near its lowest point in 18 years.
ECONOMIC GROWTH IN Q2 MARKS LARGEST IN FOUR YEARS
On July 27th the Commerce Department reported that the economy expanded at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. It is also the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession.
The U.S. economy is now a $20 trillion economy, marking the first time a country has hit that level.
The Q2 2018 report showed a sharp increase in the personal savings rate. People have more money to spend. The increased rate of personal savings was a result of wages and salaries jumping from 6.7% to 3.4% for 2017 and averaging 7% in the first half of the year. Real disposable personal income rose to 2.6 percent, building on the growth of 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
As a Wall Street Journal article put it: "that's about $500 billion more in the pockets of Americans than previously estimated and helps explain why consumer spending has remained strong."
WORKERS HAVE MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS
"The employment cost index increased 0.6 percent for civilian workers in the three-month period ending in June, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release Tuesday. That brought the 12-month rate up to 2.8 percent, the highest level since 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2008, amid the financial crisis and the Great Recession."
- CNBC, Worker Pay Rate Hits Highest Level Since 2008
Consumer spending was the largest contributor to real GDP growth in the second quarter, and is driving the economy.
"The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter. . . Consumer spending is being driven by the lower taxes and a robust labor market, which created an average of 215,000 jobs per month in the first half of this year." - Reuters
UNEMPLOYMENT at NEAR 18 YEAR LOW
CONFIDENCE IN ECONOMY KEEPS GROWING
Small business optimism remains historically high according to NFIB's 2018 report.
In it's report, NFIB found that a net ten percent of all small business owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months. June is the seventh consecutive strong month of reported sales gains.
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