Consumers Continue to Carry the Load

With slowing business investment and a soft housing market, investors have hoped for a strong consumer to continue to drive growth despite numerous headline risks that could impact consumer confidence and ultimately negatively affect consumer spending. 

Chart Consumers Carry the Load

Thus far in 2019, the consumer has delivered, driving Q2 GDP growth and posting an extremely strong July retail sales number. The chart above displays the breakdown of the different retail sales categories that roll up into the aggregate retail sales growth figure. Although many of the retail sales components contributed to growth, non-store retailers (e-commerce) sales growth was particularly strong. The strength in non-store retail was partially due to Amazon Prime Day (July 15th) and back to school shopping. Regardless of where retail sales growth is derived from, with trade tensions currently weighing on business confidence and investment, the strength and resilience of the U.S. consumer should remain a key focus for the duration of 2019.