The clear message seems to be that while oil is a drag, it's not a downward driver of consumer spending, ... The labor market is generating good income in general and the housing market continues to deliver a positive wealth effect. These factors are helping to offset the impact of higher oil prices.
In the whole post-war rebound story, the first part has come through -- we've clearly seen a bounce in consumer confidence. The next key step is business activity measures improving, including employment indicators. Hopefully we will see weekly jobless claims coming down soon -- in the next three-to-four weeks.
Some of the pickup reflects mix shifts, with payroll growth in above-average-wage sectors accelerating relative to growth in below-average-wage sectors. That said, some legitimate pickup in wage gains is probably credible given the low unemployment rate and the energy-led rise in inflation expectations recently.
In our forecast, we see consumer spending slowing a little bit in the fourth quarter to 3.1 percent from 3.8 percent for the same period last year, ... The rationale is that as the housing market slows , there'll be a cooling effect in the home wealth effect and the fluctuating energy prices will also have some drag on spending in the months ahead.