The American Consumer will not be deterred.
Despite worsening jobless figures and an increase in the Cost of Living, Retail Sales are climbing. In June, for the 12th straight month, retail receipts rose, excluding cars and auto parts.
Analysts expected no change from May. Instead, receipts topped $321 billion -- an all-time record.
For home buyers and would-be refinancers in Atlanta , this is a bit of unwelcome news. Mortgage rates are rising in the wake of the Retail Sales data release.
This is because Retail Sales account for roughly half of consumer spending, and nearly one-third of the economy overall. A rise in Retail Sales, therefore, suggests stronger growth ahead.
Here's how it happens.
As consumers spend more money, businesses sell more product. So, to accommodate burgeoning demand, business hire additional employees, and are forced to make additional capital expenditures as well.
This rise in spending prompts other businesses to hire and spend; to meet their own respective demand surges. There's a chain reaction-like effect.
Then, with businesses carrying larger payrolls and bigger staffs, federal, state and local governments realize bigger tax bases and can fund new and existing projects.
This, too, leads to hiring and the cycle repeats.
A weak economic outlook dragged down mortgage rates last week. This week's Retail Sales data reversed that flow. Mortgage rates are higher by 1/8 percent -- roughly $8 per $100,000 borrowed.
Retail Sales are up 8 percent from a year ago.