Risk of overheating? Tailwinds? In fact, quite the contrary

The story told by the consumer doesn´t leave much doubt that the economy is on a “cooling streak”. The chart shows that retail sales (just as several other statistics) captured the burst of activity triggered by the cleanup and recovery from the severe storms along the Gulf Coast in late summer 2017, with growth in sales strongly positive in September-November. That, however, has long gone, with a string of three negative rates in December/17-February/18. Today´s release gave rise to significantly negative market reactions, with stocks, the dollar and long-term yields falling. Overall consumer spending, available to January, also tells a…

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