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Worth Reading: Red Flags Detected In Consumer Spending Numbers

Excellent piece from Bloomberg about how unimpressive sales and profit numbers from the likes of Walmart and Target are leading to some fears that consumer spending - the "lone consistent driver" of American economic growth - could be softening, which could spell trouble for an expansion that now has lasted more than a decade.

"There have as yet been no real signs in the broad data of that changing, with unemployment, housing and gas prices remaining supportive."  But, at least some economic advisors are starting to ask questions.

"Consumer spending is helping prop up the economy at the moment while other areas, like manufacturing, have softened," Bloomberg writes.  "So any weakening there is another sign that first-quarter U.S. economic growth could cool from the previous period’s 2.1% pace, a rate that’s below the Trump administration’s 3% goal for full-year growth. The end of interest-rate cuts, the looming U.S. presidential election and fallout from China’s coronavirus outbreak could also weigh on consumer confidence, analysts have said, jeopardizing a record-long economic expansion."

You can read the entire story here.