Monday, November 16, 2009

Retail Sales Better Than Expected, Sort Of

US retail sales rose 1.4% in October, much better than anticipated by our already optimistic analyst friends on Wall Street. Equity markets are higher, as everyone celebrates with glee that people are still willing to spend with abandon despite record high unemployment rates. One somewhat major detail glossed over by the optimists is that the 1.4% gain is from September to October, and September was revised down to a 2.3% loss from a previously estimated 1.5% tumble. So maybe this retail sales report was a bit lackluster after all. Excluding autos, other sales rose just 0.2%. Year-over-year retail sales are down 1.7%. Nifty charts available at Calculated Risk for those who like to visualize their economic statistics.

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