Plodding Along - April 3, 2019

Recession talk is in the air – financial commentators, an inverted yield curve, even a surge in ‘recession’ searches as evidenced by Google Trends.

Will we talk ourselves into a recession?

Recent data suggest no

1.      Retail sales fell 0.2% in February, but January’s already-strong numbers were revised sharply higher (U.S. Census).

2.      The ISM Mfg Index, a closely followed gauge of manufacturing, is down from robust levels seen in much of 2018. But it has stabilized over the last four months at a respectable level (Inst for Supply Mgt).

3.      Housing sales have recently perked up; the same holds true for construction spending (NAR, U.S. Census).

4.      Jobless claims for unemployment insurance have ticked lower (Dept of Labor).

5.      The Atlanta Fed’s Q1 GDPNow Model is tracking at 2.1% as of April 1. It’s up sharply from early March readings.

We’re not seeing the strong numbers of a year ago, but neither has growth stalled. Low interest rates and continued economic growth have been supportive of stocks this year.

Investor’s corner

Your investment plan is your financial roadmap. A well-crafted plan is designed to navigate unexpected turbulence and keep you on the path to your financial goals.

If you have a well-thought-out plan, we applaud you. You have chosen the narrow, less-traveled path.