Third Quarter 2015
Domestic economic growth in the first half of the year was a tale of two quarters. Paltry 0.6% GDP growth in the first quarter was followed by an impressive rebound to 3.9% in the second, although the true trend rate is likely near the average of the two. Encouragingly, consumer spending, which makes up the largest slice of the GDP pie, has been the primary driver of increased economic activity. Gas prices have been low throughout the year, and shoppers may finally be adjusting to this new reality by opening up their pocketbooks more often. Two key indicators of consumer confidence, auto purchases and restaurant sales, have hit recovery highs.