🎃 It's the season of fright, and you know what's truly scary? Not the economy! Well, at least not when you dive into the latest financial news:
🍬Consumers, it seems, are hopped up on a sugar high. They spent 0.7% more in September. Goods spending rose 0.7% and, in "real" terms (inflation-adjusted), is up 2.4%. Meanwhile, spending on services increased by 0.8%.
🪦New orders for durable goods were resurrected in September. A big contributor to the 4.7% increase was the 92.5% surge in commercial aircraft orders. Even when the usually volatile transportation category is removed, orders rose by a healthy, decidedly undead, 0.5%
In Q3, real GDP grew at a monstrous 4.9% annual rate. That's the fastest growth rate since 2014, except when we exclude the COVID re-opening in 2020-21. "Core" GDP, stripping out government purchases and inventories, increased at a healthy 3.3% annual rate. It's like some unstoppable force possesses the economy. At least for now.
👻And yet, there is some reason for trepidation this week. As ever of late, the spooky ghost of inflation made its presence felt as PCE prices (the Fed's favorite inflation measure) rose by 0.4% in September, bringing the year-on-year increase to 3.4%. Inflation is that trick-or-treater who keeps knocking on your door and taking more and more of your candy. Seriously...beat it, kid. It's just not funny anymore.
Patrick Huey is a small business owner and the author of two books on history and finance as well as the highly-rated recently-released fictional work Hell: A Novel. As owner of Victory Independent Planning, LLC, Patrick works with families and non-profit organizations. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and an Accredited Tax Preparer. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.