MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 2018 IN REVIEW
January 2018 saw December’s trend of above-consensus economic reports taper off, though the data suggests strong underlying fundamentals in the U.S. economy, supported by solid consumer spending. Fourth quarter growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.6% fell short of the more optimistic 3.0% forecast by Bloomberg-surveyed consensus, dragged down largely by inventories and trade (faster growth in exports than imports). Both economic factors contributed heavily to the growth rate of GDP in the third quarter of 2017, which speaks more toward disruptions from hurricanes than a fundamental decline in momentum. Consumer spending was the standout contributor to the GDP report, corroborated by upbeat consumer confidence reports, supported by tax cuts and the drop in the household savings rate…Click here to read more.