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Signs to look for to see recovery

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Let’s check in live with Jim Dunigan, who’s the chief investment officer over at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia. Good morning Jim.

JIM DUNIGAN: Good morning Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: So these retail numbers, Jim, are a bit worse than analysts thought. What’s with this expectation that people want to spend money?

DUNIGAN: No doubt this is a speed bump in the road to recovery and I think the consumer is showing that they’re not quite ready to open up their wallets.

CHIOTAKIS: What kind of signs are we looking for down the road that’ll suggest that OK things may be bottoming out, things are, you know, there’s a recovery on the way?

DUNIGAN: I think you’re starting to see some improvement in the employment numbers, lower unemployment claims. Those kinds of things will start to show that the economy is rebounding. And then sooner or later some pick up in retail sales as the consumer comes back to a more normal spending mode.

CHIOTAKIS: You know, Jim, Macy’s this morning said it posted a wider quarterly loss. A lot higher-end retailers can’t seem to get into positive territory. What does that mean? You know more store closings or job losses down the road?

DUNIGAN: You’re still going to see, Steve, parts of the economy continuing to contract. Retailing being part of that. We’re still going through that contraction within the auto sector. While you’re starting to see signs that others have been expanding. So we’re in that sort of inflection point in the economy that are going to throw investors a curve ball from time to time.

CHIOTAKIS: Certainly a lot to look forward to. Jim Dunigan, who’s the chief investment officer over at PNC in Philadelphia. Jim, thank you.

DUNIGAN: My pleasure.

CHIOTAKIS: I appreciate it.

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