The third quarter of the year may only be just getting rolling, but things are already looking good when it comes to consumer spending. July was ahead of expectations, showing strong growth after a better than expected second quarter of the calendar year. Leading the way was the auto sales industry, hitting its highest point since November of 2015. Right now, the auto industry is on pace for 17.88 million units per year. All expectations stood at a rate of about 17.3 million units. This better than expected growth is a very good sign, as automobiles can have a very long shelf life, and they are not usually purchased unless the economy is doing very well for individuals.
Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S.’s economic activity, and for it to be on the rise is definitely a signal of strength. This is one key metric that every trader, no matter how short or long term the focus is, should be paying attention to. Typically, official consumer spending reports come out at the beginning of the month and are indicative of the month beforehand, but there are always unofficial reports and polls coming out that help professionals in the field to gauge what’s going on before it is made official. In this instance, the auto sales data is official, but much of the other data is unofficial. However, this is reliable and usually not too far off of reality. As always, paying attention here and basing trades off of the psychological impact that is created within the investing and trading community will help you as a guide for establishing potential positions and potential money making endeavors. You might even find opportunities that you were unaware of before looking at these things.
As consumer spending goes up, it is often seen as a sign that the U.S. economy is picking up and moving deeper into a bull market. After a strong second quarter, many people are expecting that the Federal Reserve might raise rates later in 2016. The second quarter was strong, but the rate of inflation was not quite as strong as Fed officials would have liked, and as a result of this, the consensus opinion is that this will happen in December. A stronger than expected third quarter has the potential to move up the timetable here, so as you go about forming your options trading decisions, be sure that you are paying attention here in order to keep things as accurate and as profitable as you can on your end.
However, other reports are saying that while July was a strong month, inflation is still not at the levels that it should be. July is just the first month of the quarter, so there is a long way to go here. But if inflation does not increase at a faster level, even great successes in a few different sectors will not be enough to motivate the Fed to take action. The dollar is still not where it could be against the euro or the yen. A weak dollar will help to boost stocks and the indices that gauge them, and it will create more momentum for trading opportunities there. Knowing how to evaluate both the Forex and the stock market is a key part of success, especially if you are trading in the options market, as there will be many more opportunities that arise thanks to the wide range of knowledge that you will acquire as a result of this. At the very least, it will help you to make smarter and better informed decisions within your market of choice.