A widely followed U.S. Federal Reserve survey gauging economic activity was released this past week.

The news would have you worry about impending doom.

The facts are that the model estimate for real GDP growth during Q4 is 4.4% today, up from 4.0% on November 9.


After this week’s retail sales report showed a solid 1.3% October gain, the nowcast of Q4 real personal consumption expenditures growth increased from 4.2% to 4.8%.

It’s hard to see bad times when so many are working.

Payroll employment rose to a new record high during October.

Jobless claims remain low.

The pace of wage gains has exceeded the rate of price inflation in recent months.

Many consumers still have excess savings left over from the pandemic, and more of them are charging their purchases on their credit cards.

The Consumer Sentiment Index dropped from 59.9 in October to 54.7 during the first half of November.

Consumers remain depressed, yet they are going shopping. It makes them feel better, apparently!

A recession may be rolling through some sectors of the economy, but the all-important consumers who represent 70% of the economy continue to roll along and do what they do best, i.e., spend money.

This is hardly bad news so will not make it onto the front page, and will likely be buried on the fourth page of the business news, but we thought you should know that some things continue to work in a positive direction.

Investors continue to show tentative signs of increased conviction towards establishing new investments.

With depressed prices it is common for small, positive news stories to cause major moves in stock prices.

It shows that the sellers are likely nearing exhaustion.

The trick will be to see how much conviction remains as prices advance or should bad news cause pause.

It seems to us that while the long-term is promising, caution towards getting overly exuberant is still a good strategy for the time being.

We have been in a storm for close to a year now.

All storms end.

Investors are eager to see this end.

There is a saying that markets often enjoy a Santa Claus rally.

This seems to be just that, a rally and soon there will be holidays, but there usually are some storms and things could get slippery.

We remain ready with our stocking stuffers plush with cash should there be a hangover after the party.

That’s our plan.