Better-than-expected retail sales data eased recession fears today but not by much. The lukewarm reaction from many analysts doesn’t exactly paint a clear picture for the economy.
“I think the number is OK. Sentiment had gotten so negative that a more mediocre number like this isn’t terrible,” said James Dailey, portfolio manager for TEAM Asset Strategy Fund.
Retail sales data beat expectations but an analysis by Anooja Debnath and Emily Kaiser points out that even the expectation water-mark is not as clear as it once was. Economic forecasts are all over the map and the consensus forecast does not necessarily represent what most economists think.
Recent data has taken some pressure off the Fed but with an economy many are viewing as flat, talk of more monetary easing, and how to do it, is swirling.
Turning to the housing market, Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture is predicting the worst in housing is likely over. Sure prices could fall another 33 percent — but it’s unlikely –because homes are now priced where they should be in today’s market, Ritholtz writes.