U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.3 percent for quarter two and a quarter one revision of 0.6 percent erased a previously reported contraction. Spurred by strong consumer spending on big ticket items like cars and home construction, U.S. GDP was able to move past constraints such as harsh weather, slowing global markets, port delays, and poor wage gains that hindered growth in early 2015. However a struggling energy sector was the main drag on U.S. growth, as oil rigs cope with low crude prices. Along with the overall GDP number, a collection of U.S. economic data was released today. Consumer spending, the driver of U.S. growth, increased 2.9 percent, home construction jumped 6.6 percent and PCE, an indicator for inflation, rebounded at 2.2 percent. Furthermore, imports increased 3.5 percent while exports jumped 5.3 percent, business investment fell 0.6 percent, and the U.S. savings rate fell from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent. This positive data released today goes hand in hand with the Fed’s ideal market conditions for a rate hike; growth is moderate, inflation is nearing 2 percent, and strong labor market boosts consumer spending. Turn to page 61 of the Voya Global Perspectives™ Book for an extended look at U.S. GDP.
The Latest Market Commentary From Our Strategists
Weekly Commentary & Statistics
Markets were unable to maintain the prior week’s momentum as some high-profile earnings misses combined with global growth worries to put investors in a cautious mood. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their worst weeks since March, while the DJIA had its worst since January. Gold hit a new five-year low, while crude oil is down more than 20% from June highs.
Monthly Commentary & Outlook
- In the first half of 2015, the long-running bull market continued to overcome a variety of potential stumbling blocks.
- With ECB stimulus blazing, Europe has been a pleasant surprise this year.
- While the mechanics of policy normalization can test near-term resolve, investors must remain focused on their long-term goals.
- If the bull market that arose out of the Great Recession taught us anything it’s that waiting on the sidelines for a precise entry point is pure — and costly — folly.