Markets & Economy

The Economy: August 2013

Market Comments:

U.S. GDP was revised significantly upward, to 2.5% from 1.7%, largely a result of an increase in exports and inventories. Pending home sales fell slightly in July due to the recent rise in mortgage rates, but the trend is still up with 6.7% growth over the past year. In spite of generally positive data, equities ended in the red for the month. The S&P 500 decreased 2.90%, and the MSCI EAFE, a proxy for international stocks, was down 1.32%. Geopolitical risks seemed to weigh on markets, with concerns about the Syrian conflict, the upcoming U.S. debt ceiling debate, and Fed tapering grabbing the headlines. Interest rates continued to drift higher, as they have each month since early May. All eyes on the Fed in September, as markets anticipate a potential change in monetary policy.