Retail Sales And Last Week's Econ Data Points

Core retail sales increased 0.7% month over month, missing expectations of an increase of 1.0%. After the sharp decline and snap-back during the pandemic, the pace of growth has retreated back within the normal range.

Total retail sales have surpassed the highs prior to COVID.

Last week's key reports included the NFIB small business optimism index reading of 100.2, which was +1.42% over the prior month but -2.81% year over year. Within the report, many small business owners expressed optimism and intentions to increase hiring in the near future.

This can be seen in last week's JOLTS report, which measures the number of job openings in the month. The number came in at 6.62 million, which is an increase of 10.33% over the prior month.

Overall the economy continues to show signs of healing. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow is forecasting a +30.8% increase for Q3 GDP. The labor market will likely take years to fully recover, so there are legitimate concerns as to how sustainable the recovery can be without continued fiscal stimulus.

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