The US consumer

James Marlay

Livewire Markets

A few weeks back it seemed almost a formality that interest rates in the US would move up in September. However the timing of lift off from ZIRP has again come into question with the latest round of volatility stemming from the well documented stand off in Greece. With employment data released overnight I did a quick scour of the internet to see how the US consumer is feeling right now. Remember the consumer is responsible for around 70% of GDP in the US and how they feel about jobs and wealth has a big impact on their spending habits. The charts attached below show 1) The trend in unemployment in the US 2) What appears to be the signs of a turn around in wage growth (sourced from WSJ) and 3) A steady rise in consumer confidence. As one investor recently pointed out there is a fixation on the potential downside of raising rates. The situation in Greece should serve as a reminder that should shocks hit the system there are currently few levers to pull.


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