US: Most data strong, fed to hike two more times tihis year

5 min
Georges Dib
Georges Dib Economist for Latin America, Spain and Portugal

The housing market is one of the few sectors currently suffering, with rising mortgage rates, low supply, and high prices. Existing home sales fell for the fourth straight month to a 2.5-year low. New home sales are at a 10-month low. On the other hand consumer confidence is very strong and gained 5.5 points to a near 18-year high. And that confidence has shown up in surprisingly strong earnings reports recently from major retailers including Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Tiffany, Home Depot, and Lowe’s among others. Manufacturing also continues to show strength as core orders for durable goods rose +1.4% m/m to a very strong +8.5% y/y rate. The strength of the economy was echoed in the minutes from the Fed’ most recent meeting, as well as Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, which cemented expectations for a hike in September, and made a December hike still likely.