The U.S. economy is doing quite well right now, but it could falter over the next couple of years as the stimulus fades away, said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, and the winner of the Forecaster of the Month award for March.
Retail sales data were released today. “The story is not fine”. The panel shows that the August-September 2017 storms gave a boost to sales, mostly for replacement purposes. That boost has petered out, despite fiscal stimulus.
When you look at discretionary spending – on such things as Appliances & Electronics and Furniture – items that suffered losses during the storms and had to be replaced – the indications are that the consumer is not indulging, despite “full employment”.