Inflation Threatens and Evictions Loom

Two major issues dominated the news in late July: Inflation – whether it is, is not a problem or is likely to be one; and the prospect that millions of renters would be evicted from their homes as a federal moratorium barring evictions for nonpayment of rent expired. 

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If economic reports were songs, you might be humming the monthly reports from memory. The numbers have been changing from month to month, but the tune has remained the same. June was no exception. Once again, the reports tell us: The economic recovery, already the longest on record, continues.

Anyone looking for clarity or consistency in the March economic data will have to look hard and will likely be disappointed. If there is a pattern, it is disjointed – a tug-of-war between competing narratives, one suggesting a confident upward trajectory and the other cause to question it.

April produced a mix of indicators, some stronger than others, but most landing firmly on the solid end of the performance spectrum.

The big economic news for this month is the much stronger than expected employment report; the big question is, why in the face of strong labor market, consumer spending (reflected in retail sales) has been trending steadily downward.