Consumers and Businesses Remain Cautious
· Retail sales growth slowed in August after July’s numbers were revised upward. Autos returned as one of the primary drivers of growth while sales of building materials, clothing and sporting goods declined.
· The NFIB Small Business Optimism index remained relatively flat over the month. Sales and profits over the past three months weakened but were expected to improve in the near term.
· Inflation appears to be subdued, with core PPI and import prices remaining flat in August. Prices coming down the pipeline appear weak as well.