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September
14
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Week In Review

Retail Sales

Retail sales rose 0.1% in August, lower than the expected 0.4%. However, July sales were revised from 0.5% to 0.7%.

Our Take

Retail sales have been strong in Q3, following a robust Q2. Due to Hurricane Florence, reports in the near future may be difficult to interpret, but consumers appear to be on solid footing.


Inflation

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in August and are up 2.7% over the past twelve months. August producer prices fell 0.1% and are up 2.8% year-over-year.

Our Take

Inflation came in lower than expected in August, likely due in part to a strong dollar, but is still above the Fed’s 2% target. The reports are unlikely to affect the upcoming Fed rate decision.


Municipals

S&P Global Ratings changed its credit outlook for New Mexico from AA negative to AA stable. S&P cited “generally strong budget management practices.” According to Bloomberg, this week’s outlook change for New Mexico marks the first time since 2008 that no state has a negative outlook at S&P.

Our Take

The removal of the negative outlook indicates that New Mexico is no longer under consideration for a credit downgrade. States have taken steps to improve their fiscal health since 2008. The fact that no states currently carry a negative outlook from S&P is good news for municipal investors.