Delta Impact on Consumer Behavior Will Delay Tapering Announcement
Comment of the Day

August 20 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Delta Impact on Consumer Behavior Will Delay Tapering Announcement

This note from Guggenheim may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Expectations are mounting for a September announcement of tapering plans by the Federal Reserve (Fed), prompted by the strength of the economy and comments from more hawkish members of the FOMC, particularly Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.

We don’t see that happening. The Delta variant is throwing a wrench into the forward progress of the economy. Although Fed Chair Powell believes that “it’s not yet clear whether the Delta strain will have important effects on the economy,” our read of the latest data suggests that it is already having a negative impact on consumer behavior.

After a large downside miss to July retail sales, spending on COVID sensitive activities such as restaurants, air travel, and hotels has weakened further in August. High frequency indicators of broader consumer activity such as daily credit card spending also show softening over the past few weeks.

Eoin Treacy's view

This sounds like a common-sense conclusion. Everywhere I look around I see evidence of changed plans and lower economic activity. It seems obvious that will feed through into a weaker set of statistics by the time the 3rd quarter ends.

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