Economic Update, August 21, 2017

Untitled Document Phillip Allen Inc.   WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE                “One man practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundred teaching it.” – Knute Rockne WEEKLY TIP               Business owners should dedicate one hour per month to collect and sort receipts. This is vital for independent contractors, whose tax liability is linked to the expenses they deduct. WEEKLY RIDDLE              I follow you during the daytime, but at night I can’t be seen. What am I?         Last week’s riddle: Shake me and I’ll do what you want, but first you must extract me from the earth. I may be on the tip of your tongue and over your shoulder. What am I?         Last week’s answer: Salt.           August 21, 2017     RETAIL SALES RISE IMPRESSIVELY In July, they were up 0.6% – the largest monthly increase seen so far in 2017. This gain suggests the economy has gathered momentum in the third quarter. Core retail sales (which do not include food, construction, gas, and auto buying) advanced 0.6% for July as well. The Department of Commerce also revised some spring numbers: retail purchases improved 0.3% in June and were flat a month earlier.1   AN UPTURN FOR CONSUMER SENTIMENT The University of Michigan’s monthly gauge of how U.S. households view current and future economic conditions rose 4.5 points in its preliminary August edition to 97.6. Not since January has the index been so high. In the past 12 months, it has gained 8.7 points.2     HOUSING STARTS RETREAT Groundbreaking decreased 4.8% in July, according to the latest monthly Census Bureau snapshot of...