Is The Economy Growing, Slowing Or Both?

 In Fishkind Commentaries

New economic reports for the U.S. and Florida are out, and they seem contradictory and confusing. Retail sales were much weaker than expected and the consumer price index went down, but nearly 250,000 jobs were created nationally in the past year and the number of new unemployment claims dropped, too.

So, is the U.S. economy growing, or slowing? 90.7’s economic analyst Hank Fishkind says it’s doing both. He explains how the data balance out nationally and locally, starting with a look at the “slow” side.

Hank’s Highlights:

  • The big national news was a 0.3% drop in retail sales, which was far weaker than expected. In addition, there were three reports on inflation, including the consumer price index, which all showed declining core prices. But, the report on new claims for unemployment compensation was far stronger than expected with new claims dropping to their lowest levels for this business cycle.
  • Job growth was very strong at 248,200 jobs generated over the last 12 months and the unemployment rate dipping below 5%. And Orlando continued to lead all Florida metro areas with a job growth of 49,200.
  • The key to the outlook continues to revolve around the job market. The latest data on new claims for unemployment compensation point to further strong gains in employment ahead.
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