Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – If you went to Walmart or Target in the last several months, you probably saw shelves that were far from packed.

It was a constant sign that two whole years after the pandemic threw off everyone’s financial balance, the economy still couldn’t find its footing.

That’s why an announcement from both stores came as such a surprise this week—they’re starting to see an overabundance of goods.

That news was then coupled with more positive trends—people are saving more of their money, credit card defaults are down, and most importantly, they’re still buying.

In short—our troubled economic path might be turning a corner.

You’ve still got good retail sales, you still have a strong consumer, you have savings rates at a good level, you have people paying their bills, I think there’s a lot to be positive about.

Jason Haswell, Managing Director, Monteverde Group

It’s certainly welcome news for anyone who feels like their wallets need a break.

But that doesn’t mean everything is well between consumers and the goods they need to keep their lives moving.

For one, the prices on gas station signs any easier to take, especially as they creep dangerously close to 5 dollars a gallon.

And you may notice that green number below it is even worse.

Diesel fuel is what gets food, clothes and everything else to the store, and if it’s high, so are the prices.

People look at these things and don’t quite see there’s a lot of dominoes that go into pricing any product, especially being shipped by truck.

Jason Haswell, Managing Director, Monteverde Group

But as COVID shrinks in the rearview mirror, it seems like our confidence as consumers keep growing.

Haswell notes that hotels are booking up fast for the summer, meaning high gas prices aren’t stopping vacationing as much as you might think.

Because they’ve been locked up for a couple years and haven’t been able to travel, I think they’re sort of saying ‘you know what, I’m willing to pay the price to go out this year.’

So what’s the bottom line for your future investments? Play it safe.

This period of uncertainty makes risk-taking a bad idea, especially after a long period of relative stability.

But don’t make any rash decisions. We have corrections like this all the time, we’ve had them for the last 90 years in the market, we’ve just been very spoiled over the last 3 or 4 years where the market really hasn’t corrected very much.

Jason Haswell, Managing Director, Monteverde Group

He says the true test will come when May’s inflation numbers come out.

If it’s up once again, we may have to struggle through a few more months.

But if it comes down, it’s a good sign that inflation may have finally reached its ceiling, along with the pain to our pocketbooks.