This Weekly Market Update reviews the top three market headlines: Consumer Confidence Remains Robust, Home Price Gains Continue to Decelerate, German GDP Shrinks in Q2

Top Three Market Headlines

Consumer Confidence Remains Robust: Despite recent stock market volatility and continued U.S./China trade tensions, U.S. consumers remained upbeat in August. The Consumer Confidence Index, reported monthly by The Conference Board, registered 135.1 in August, down slightly from 135.8 in July but still close to a 19-year high. In particular, consumers continue to be upbeat about hiring and income gains, reflecting the strength of the current labor market. The Present Situation Index, a subcomponent of the broader index that reveals how consumers view the economy at the present moment, climbed from 170.9 in July to 177.2 in August, its highest reading since November 2000.   

Home Price Gains Continue to Decelerate: Data released last week indicated that U.S. housing price gains continue to cool. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index Average, national home prices grew 3.1% in June over the prior year, down from a 3.3% pace in May. Gains in major metropolitan areas slowed to their lowest pace in nearly seven years, with the 20-City Composite reporting just a 2.1% year-over-year increase for the month, which was approximately a third of the pace of growth the Composite was showing a year ago at the same time. Housing market participants are hopeful that lower mortgage rates, plentiful jobs and rising wages will provide a boost to the market in upcoming quarters. 

German GDP Shrinks in Q2: Germany’s total economic output decreased 0.1% in Q2 2019, marking the second time German GDP contracted over the past year. Germany’s economy is struggling due to weaker global trade–German shipments abroad declined 1.3% in Q2, the biggest drop in six years–and upheaval in its auto industry. Business confidence has fallen as weakness in manufacturing spreads to other industries. Despite calls for increased fiscal stimulus, the German central bank, the Bundesbank, has cautioned against knee-jerk reactions to the recent downturn.

Data Points

  • The Consumer Confidence Index fell slightly to 135.1 in August but remained near 19-year high.
  • Home prices grew 3.1% nationwide in June, down from May’s pace of 3.3%.
  • German GDP shrank 0.1% in Q2 2019


As of August 30, 2019





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WSJ 8/27/2019, PMI IHS Markit 08/22/2019 MarketWatch 8/27/2019; Bloomberg 8/27/2019; Housing Wire, 8/27/2019. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.