The Story Of 2017 So Far In 8 Charts

August 21, 2017

[Editor's Note: This was originally published on]

Over the first half of 2017, Insight examined many of the trends dominating the financial industry and making headlines. However, while headlines tell part of the story, nothing quite captures the movements of the market like data. 

Here, our panel of FactSet experts have selected the graphs and charts most evocative of the trends driving 2017 so far. Read on for an unadulterated look at the data behind the biggest stories of the year.



Sara B. Potter, CFA, CBE, VP, Market Analysis

Consumer Spending Lags Sentiment

The Story Of 2017 So Far In 8 Charts

For a larger view, please click on the image above.


According to The Conference Board, consumer confidence reached a 16-year high in March 2017. The increase over the last several months appears to be driven largely by strong performance in the stock market and post-election enthusiasm. However, rising sentiment in the first half of the year was not matched by faster consumer spending growth, with retail sales growth underperforming in Q1 and Q2. We did see retail sales jump up in July, in sync with a jump in confidence, but we will have to wait to see whether this pattern holds for the remainder of the year. 


Consumer Price Inflation Slows As Fed Tightens

The Story Of 2017 So Far In 8 Charts

For a larger view, please click on the image above.


Following the largely commodity-fueled jump in prices in January, both monthly CPI and PCE price indices have remained essentially flat in recent months. On a year-over-year basis, we are seeing steady declines in the growth rates for both measures, including their core counterparts. Given tightening labor markets, the Fed is keeping an eye on this data as part of its dual mandate to foster economic conditions that achieve both stable prices and maximum sustainable employment. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are predicting one more rate hike this year, in Q4, in line with what is being predicted by futures prices. 



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