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US retail sales start holidays with a bang (AFP)

We have all read hot news written by popular journalist. The news about US retail sales start holidays with a bang
(AFP)
was a long time a coming. But the news doesn’t stop here. The author shows two wonderful talents. Read the the rest sections to see what I mean. By: US Economy

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US retail sales kicked off the holiday shopping season with a bang in November as shoppers opened wallets in crucial spending that could boost the economy’s weak recovery.

Retail and food services sales rose 0.8 percent from October to 378.7 billion dollars, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

It was the fifth consecutive month of gains but the increase was much better than the 0.5 percent expected by economists.

“Overall, the November retail sales report was a strong report that flew in the face of the weak wage growth reported in the November employment report,” said Patrick O’Hare at Briefing.com.

Despite high unemployment that has nearly one in 10 workers without a job, shoppers swarmed into stores and online in a burst of consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of output in the world’s largest economy.

In a further sign of momentum, the department hiked the October retail sales increase by a half percentage point to 1.7 percent.

“The bottom line is that retail sales have scored yet another upside surprise and indicate quite strongly that consumers are once again spending at a healthy pace,” said David Resler at Nomura.

Given the retail strength of the last two months, the Nomura analyst said consumer spending could grow at a 3.0 percent clip in the fourth quarter, suggesting gross domestic product growth was on course for a 3.3 percent advance.

GDP grew only at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the third quarter, long after the recession officially ended in June 2009.

The National Retail Federation revised its November-December holiday sales forecast to growth of 3.3 percent, up from 2.3 percent.

“The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations,” Matthew Shay, the president and chief executive of the group, said in a statement.

The association said the upward revision was due to improvement in a variety of economic indicators including stock market gains, recent income growth, savings built up during the recession that were “giving consumers the capacity to spend.”

The retail data came as Federal Reserve policymakers debated monetary policy and efforts to stimulate growth to reduce unemployment.

After the meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee announced it was sticking to its 600-billion-dollar spending plan to boost the recovery and, as widely expected, holding interest rates at near-zero levels for a second year.

The Commerce Department report highlighted resurgent demand as retailers slashed prices for Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday that unofficially starts the holiday shopping season, and the following Cyber Monday for online sales.

Automobile sales, which had led the October gain in retail sales with a 5.6 percent surge, fell 0.8 percent in November.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales jumped 1.2 percent in November, twice as much as expected and the biggest rise since February.

The data, which are adjusted but not for price changes, showed retail sales rose 7.7 percent from November 2009.

Over the first 11 months of the year, retail sales were up 6.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

November retail sales were led by a sharp 4.0 percent jump at gasoline stations amid rising energy prices.

Briefing’s O’Hare noted that core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations, autos and building materials, increased a solid 0.9 percent.

The core number is used to estimate consumer goods spending as a component of gross domestic product, the nation’s economic output.

The November number “was very positive for fourth-quarter GDP growth,” said Brian Jones at Societe Generale.

The breaking news, US retail sales start holidays with a bang
(AFP)
extract from US Economy

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