Retail Sales Likely Kept Chugging In July
The government just reported a second straight month of booming job growth, but the Federal Reserve is looking for other economic indicators to pick up if it’s going to boost interest rates for the first time this year in September. A light week of economic news will highlight the economy’s core strength, consumers, as well as one of its biggest weaknesses, feeble productivity growth. Also on tap are earnings reports from Walt Disney, News Corp. and Macy’s. The Labor Department on Tuesday is expected to report a modest 0.4% gain in productivity in the second quarter after two straight quarterly declines. Productivity, or output per labor hour, gets relatively little notice but is critical to growth in gross domestic product and wages. During the seven-year-old recovery, productivity increases have been meager, averaging 0.9% per year, compared to 2.1% to 2.5% annual averages in the previous three recoveries. Read more at USA Today.