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Consumer Cos Up as Inflation Concerns Subside -- Consumer Roundup

05/23/2022 | 05:39pm EDT

Retailers and other consumer companies rose slightly as concerns that rising inflation and interest rates would push the U.S. into recession subsided somewhat.

"Mixed economic signals make it difficult to declare the cup half empty or half full," said Saira Malik, chief investment officer at money manager Nuveen, in a note to clients, citing strength in broad retail sales, despite concerns raised by Walmart, Target and others about inflation impacts.

The Federal Reserve could engineer a "soft landing," reining in inflation without causing a recession, or, at worst, trigger a mild recession with its anti-inflation policies, Malik said.

One brokerage said it remains unclear whether consumers are returning to prepandemic spending habits. "While 'fun' categories such as restaurants and domestic tourism have rebounded in the U.S., less fun face-to-face services such as physician and dental services, and office-adjacent activities such as ground transportation and dry cleaning services remain weak, suggesting persistent softness," said analysts at brokerage Goldman Sachs Group, in a note to clients.

Coffee shop giant Starbucks is closing down its business in Russia, as the invasion of Ukraine caused it to end its 15-year presence in the country.

 Write to Rob Curran at rob.curran@dowjones.com 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-23-22 1738ET

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