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Which Economic Report Are You Watching the Closest?

Todd Bunton

Every week there is a stream of economic reports that are released. Some of this data has the ability to move markets and therefore grabs a lot of headlines. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly "Employment Situation" report is usually closely watched and can have a big impact on the market. GDP reports receive a lot of attention too.

But given our current investment climate, which economic report do you think is the most important one for investors right now? Or which one are you paying the most attention to?

A. Employment Situation Report (its all about jobs right now)
B. Retail Sales (we are in a consumer-driven economy, the rest is just details)
C. GDP (economic growth = higher profits = higher stock prices)
D. New Home Sales / Case-Shiller (a sustainable rebound in housing it what matters most right now)
E. FOMC Meetings / Minutes (this is a QE-driven market)
F. Other

Obviously each one of these is important, but the one I'm watching the closest these days is 'B' - Retail Sales. Given the expiration of the payroll tax holiday and rising gas prices, consumers are faced with lower discretionary income in 2013. Despite this, the latest report showed that consumers are still out there spending. And that means that our consumer-driven economy is probably seeing decent overall growth.

So what's your vote? Chime in below.

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