Obama to refocus on economy in State of the Union address
A political event is the focus of this week's economic calendar -- Tuesday night, President Obama will give the first State of the Union address of his second term.
While gun control and immigration reform have dominated the national conversation in recent months, the president is expected to concentrate on addressing economic issues tomorrow, specifically on how to boost job creation and economic growth, and how to expand the middle class.
At a meeting with House Democrats last week, Obama also added that he would address the looming series of budget cuts, known as the sequester. He plans to use the platform to press for a bigger deficit reduction deal.
"I am prepared, eager and anxious to do a big deal, a big package that ends this governance by crisis where every two weeks or every two months or every six months we are threatening this hard-won recovery," he said last week.
Elsewhere, Wall Street will keep a close eye on the January retail sales report, out Wednesday, especially since consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy. In other words, we need consumers to spend more so as to achieve economic growth.
Thanks to the expiry of the 2% payroll tax cut, economists project that consumers likely did not shop much last month, given their weakened spending power. Total retail sales are expected to increase a mere 0.1% compared to December.