By Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Raymond James
The Pandemic’s Impact on the Season – The holiday shopping season is critical for most retailers. For some, the season is make or break for the whole year. The November retail sales report was weaker than expected, although amplified by the seasonal adjustment. No surprise, consumers are increasingly shopping online. The pandemic has reduced the seasonal traffic at the brick-and-mortar stores. Seasonal adjustment issues are also evident in other areas, such as manufacturing and construction. In turn, much of the recent noise may see a reverse echo in January and February.
This Week – The third estimate of 3Q20 GDP growth is expected to be little changed from the second estimate. November personal spending and durable goods shipments data will shed some light on 4Q20 GDP. None of that may matter for the financial markets, as the focus is on the future, especially the arrival of vaccines and the fiscal support package.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!
We will hit the ground running in the first week of January. ISM surveys for December aren’t that critical. Market participants will react to the Georgia elections, which will determine the control of the Senate. The December Employment Report will be subject to seasonal adjustment quirks (less seasonal retail hiring, fewer seasonal job losses in education).