U.S. consumer spending increased 1.9% in July, mirroring the gradual regaining of confidence and economic recovery from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. The July gain marked the third-straight monthly increase in consumer spending, although it somewhat slowed down from the previous two months.
Also, personal income rose slightly in July although jobless claims continue to rise. However, with a vaccine to treat the deadly coronavirus yet to be developed, people are still reeling under fears of getting infected and are stockpiling on necessities, which is giving their spending a boost.
Americans Spend More as Personal Income Rises
The Commerce Department said on Aug 28 that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 1.9% in July, boosting expectations of a sharp rebound in economic growth in the third quarter. However, it slowed down from the previous two months. Consumer spending witnessed a record 8.5% rise in May and 6.2% in June and as more businesses reopened.
The report from the Commerce Department also showed that income rose 0.4% in July after declining for two months. However, the report also comes weeks after the expiration of a $600-a-week federal unemployment benefit that deprived millions of a key source of income and dimmed the outlook for consumer spending. Also, both consumer spending and income remain well below their pre-pandemic levels. Consumers boosted purchases of goods like new motor vehicles. They also lifted spending on healthcare, dining out, and hotel and motel accommodation.
Consumers Showing Faith in Economy
The United States witnessed the worst decline in the second quarter since 1947. But people have not lost confidence in the economy’s strength and are willing to spend. Consumer confidence fell to a record low in the early months of the pandemic as travel froze up and shutdown orders forced many restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and other retailers to close. But life somewhat started going back to normal in June, with states lifting restrictions, and consumer spending improving.
We cannot, however, ignore the growing cases of coronavirus — following reopening — that have reignited fears in the minds of people. So, consumer spending is likely to be more on essential commodities in the days to come. Even though people are willing to spend on entertainment, travel or holiday, there aren’t too many options given that fears of the virus are preventing states to fully get back to normal functioning.
The gradual easing of restrictions followed by the opening of the economy will further boost spending which had hit rock bottom over the past few of months. However, spending will remain restricted to essential consumer goods. This is the ideal time to invest in these essential goods stocks.
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. ( GO Quick Quote GO - Free Report) is a high-growth, extreme-value retailer of quality, name-brand consumables and fresh products that are sold through a network of independently owned and operated stores.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 54.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 22% over the past 30 days. Grocery Outlet Holding sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see
the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. ( SPB Quick Quote SPB - Free Report) offers a portfolio of leading brands in several product categories like residential locksets, plumbing, electric shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, and lawn, garden and home pest control products and repellents.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 25.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 23.8% over the past 30 days. Spectrum Brands has a Zacks Rank #1.
Lifetime Brands, Inc. ( LCUT Quick Quote LCUT - Free Report) is a leading designer, marketer and distributor of kitchenware, cutlery & cutting boards, bakeware & cookware, pantryware & spices, tabletop and bath accessories.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 53.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 97.1% over the past 30 days. Lifetime Brands has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc. ( PBH Quick Quote PBH - Free Report) and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture, market, sell and distribute over-the-counter healthcare and household cleaning products in the United States, Canada, Australia and certain other international markets.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 6.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.4% over the past 30 days. Prestige Consumer Healthcare has a Zacks Rank #2.
Ollies Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. ( OLLI Quick Quote OLLI - Free Report) is a value retailer of brand name merchandise at drastically reduced prices. The company offers products principally under Ollie’s, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Good Stuff Cheap, Ollie’s Army, Real Brands Real Cheap!, Real Brands! Real Bargains!, Sarasota Breeze, Steelton Tools, American Way and Commonwealth Classics.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 46.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.1% over the past 30 days. Ollies Bargain Outlet has a Zacks Rank #2.
5 Stocks Set to Double
Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.
Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
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