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