Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Retail Sales UP, Inventories Down - Sign of Recovery!

Retail sales in the US rebounded more than forecast as demand for autos climbed, and a regional gauge of manufacturing showed expansion for a fourth month, easing concern the recovery will cool after government incentives end. Purchases increased 1.4% in October after a 2.3% drop in September that was larger than the previously estimated. Stocks added to a global rally after the reports signaled rising demand at retailers from discount chain to luxury store may foreshadow a better holiday shopping season. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday said “headwinds” of reduced credit and a weak labor market will probably restrain the recovery. (Bloomberg)

Inventories at US businesses fell in September to the lowest level in almost four years, signaling orders will rise in coming months as spending picks up. The 0.4% decrease in stockpiles was smaller than anticipated and brought the value of goods on hand down to USD1.3trn, the fewest since November 2005. Sales decreased 0.3%, reflecting a slump in demand for autos that was reversed last month. Companies depleted inventories at a record rate in the first half of the year, laying the groundwork for economic growth in the second half as consumers and businesses started spending again. Lean stockpiles at manufacturers such as carmakers and growing exports will spur a factory rebound that will propel the economic expansion into next year. (Bloomberg)

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