Last week, we learned that US retail sales went up in October by 1.3%, while the consensus had only expected an increase of 0.9%. This helps to confirm the narrative that the US consumer is still quite strong. In fact, in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a notable jump in the number of people going to Broadway shows. Similar consumer services and experiences, such as concerts and sporting events, are also seeing increased demand. An important driver of this trend is that job and wage growth remain strong and household savings levels are still high. In the week ahead, we will get the minutes from the October FOMC meeting. It will be interesting to see the thinking behind the last rate hike and we’ll also be looking for any signs of a potential downshift of rate hikes ahead, given the recent drop in inflation. However, the continued strength of the consumer and other factors may force the Federal Reserve to stay the course to get inflation closer to its 2% target.
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