The Independent Market Observer

What Mattered This Week? U.S. Economy Chugging Along

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CFP®

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This entry was posted on Dec 8, 2023 3:20:37 PM

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U.S. dollar billIt was another good week for the economy, while there wasn’t a lot of news on the market front. Let’s take a closer look.

Economic Data Pointing Toward Soft Landing

Job growth was the big data point. This morning’s employment report showed a still healthy job market, but one that continued to slow from its prior pace. That's good news, as it will help keep inflation going down.

That continued strength also supported consumer confidence. The Michigan survey jumped up considerably, which is a good sign for holiday spending and the economy more generally. To top it all off, business confidence also improved. We are seeing a slowdown, but we are also seeing continued healthy growth. That is just the kind of data that will take us to a soft landing, which, after all, is the goal here.

Mixed Bag for Markets

While the economic news was good, the news was more mixed for markets. U.S. stocks were generally up for the week, but international markets pulled back a bit. With U.S. interest rates flat, the focus returned to fundamentals, and those are simply better here in the U.S. So, not a lot of news on the market front, but overall not bad for U.S. investors.

The Takeaway

And that is the takeaway for the weekend: the U.S. economy continues to chug along and is still headed for a soft landing. Interest rates have largely normalized, and markets are following suit. People are feeling better as they can get good jobs at good wages—and then go shopping. That is a good place to be as we enter the holiday season.

Have a great weekend!

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