4701 Outlook

Economic Outlook: August 20, 2021

Aug 20, 2021  | Ep4701

A combination of cuts to buying power and a COVID resurgence contributed to a drop in consumer purchases. --

Retail sales fell 1.1 percent in July as the number of people contracting the Delta variant increased and disease-related federal government assistance stopped.

Without the reduction in car and truck purchases, retail sales fell 0.4 percent.

For the ninth-straight month, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index stayed above growth neutral even after dropping a little more than 1 point last month. Bank CEOs see drought, COVID-19 infections, Afghanistan, and negative views of infrastructure bills as big threats to expansion.

The Federal Reserve is slowly creeping up to the line on interest rates where it may start slowing monthly bond purchases. Lower interest rates encourage people like you and me to borrow and spend.

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