QUARTERLY MARKET COMMENTARY : Third Quarter 2017
“Keep it 100,” that’s what all the kids are saying on social media these days. But what in the world does it mean? Just when we think we’ve begun to understand the differences between Instagram and Snapchat, millennials start talking in code. Anyhow, urban dictionary defines the phrase as “staying true to oneself…no matter what anyone else thinks.” As it so happens, the U.S. economy is now entering its 100th month of expansion. And this long-running growth has been largely driven by Americans staying true to themselves, doing what it is that they do best – buying stuff! In the second quarter of this year, for example, consumer spending grew 3.3 percent, a nice rebound from just 1.1 percent in the first quarter. This helped overall GDP increase at a solid 2.3 percent annual rate through the first half of the year. Back-to-back severe hurricanes make recent data more difficult to interpret; still, these positive underlying trends look stable, with the Atlanta Fed currently pegging third quarter growth at 2.5 percent.