Weekly economic review & outlook
Modestly better economic data
September 20, 2021
You Need to Know
Week in review
Retail sales jumped for August
Retail sales now stand 17.7 percent higher than in February 2020. Consumer demand remains solid, but supply problems and Delta could hold back some activity.
Consumer prices rose by less than expected
The CPI rose by less than expected and added fuel to the fiery debate over the transitory nature of recent price pressures.
Modest increase expected for housing starts
Although plagued by several factors limiting construction, we project a modest increase in housing starts.
New and existing home sales expected to see small declines
Despite strong underlying demand, we expect that new and existing home sales both took small steps back in August.
The economic data last week showed a bit of a turn toward a brighter outlook for the next few months, and hopefully beyond. To be sure, the Delta variant of Covid is still negatively impacting economic activity, but consumers and businesses are shifting how they move forward rather than putting things on hold as they did during previous Covid surges. This can be seen in regional Federal Reserve bank manufacturing surveys, retail sales, consumer sentiment, and easing inflationary pressures.