Monday, October 31, 2016 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
Consumers across the nation spent on goods and services by the most in three months, signaling to retailers that holiday sales could be healthy in 2016. Personal Spending rose 0.5% in September, which was in line with expectations and reverses the negative reading in August. Within the report it showed that Personal Incomes rose 0.3%, which was just below the 0.4% expected. In addition, inflation remained tame in September as the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure, was in line with estimates at 1.7% year-over-year. The Fed's target inflation rate is 2.0%.
The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicks off on Tuesday and ends Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET with the release of the monetary policy statement. The Fed members will discuss the U.S. economic landscape, inflation and the jobs market. At the current time, there is virtually a zero percent chance of a hike to the short-term Fed Funds Rate at the meeting. However, the rhetoric that comes out of the meeting will be closely dissected by the investing community for signs that a hike may come at the December meeting, where the probability of a hike currently sits at 74%.
The lighter side: just the facts. The National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted its annual Halloween survey to see how Americans will celebrate Halloween. The NRF reported that more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average $82.93, up from last year's $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights. The survey finds that 7 in 10 consumers plan to hand out candy, and nearly half will decorate their home or dress in costume.
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