Monday, November 16, 2009

Strength in Autos Lifts Retail Sales

By KELLY EVANS Retailers, including car dealers and restaurants, saw sales improve in October, a glimmer of hope before cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 critical holiday season although unemployment still threatens spending. Retail sales rose 1.4% in October from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 prior month to a seasonally adjusted $347.5 billion, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Commerce Department said Monday, following a downwardly revised 2.3% decline in September. The increase was driven almost entirely by higher auto sales in October as demand returned following a sharp drop after cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 expiration of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 government's cash-for-clunkers program. Beyond autos, sales at clothing stores, restaurants and various ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r merchandisers also rose last month, despite cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nation's worsening unemployment. "The concern was that we'd get a big pullback in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fourth quarter," after cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 clunkers program ended, said Conrad DeQuadros, an economist with RDQ Economics in New York. "Fortunately, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 data are not shaping up that way," he said. The figures put consumer spending, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 biggest component of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 U.S. economy, on track to grow 1.5% to 2% during cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 final three months of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 year, following 3.4% growth in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 third quarter, which was boosted in part by spending on autos as consumers rushed to cash in on rebates. "It's certainly better than what we had anticipated," said J.P. Morgan economist Abiel Reinhart. While cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nation's unemployment rate hit 10.2% in October, a 26-year high, a rebound in stock markets and home prices in parts of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 country is helping prop up spending, Mr. Reinhart said. Although U.S. household wealth fell sharply through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first quarter of this year, it has rebounded a bit in recent months. Yet he cautioned that even a 2% to 2.5% gain in consumer spending, which his firm forecasts for much of 2010, "is still pretty weak" by historical standards and reflects rising unemployment along with banks' reluctance to make consumer loans. Furcá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rmore, forecasters in a survey released Monday by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 U.S. unemployment rate holding above 10% through September 2010, as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 economy's expected 2.4% growth rate falls short of what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y say is needed to prevent more job losses. For now, though, rising sales are helping businesses pare down accumulated inventories, paving cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way for an increase in future orders and production. A gauge of business inventories, also released Monday, showed levels fell 0.4% in September to $1.3 trillion, while cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ratio of inventory to sales held steady at a 1.32 months' supply from a high of 1.46 in January. The decline in September inventory levels, particularly outside cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 auto sector, will be one factor prompting a downward revision to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 government's first estimate of third quarter gross domestic product, said Mr. DeQuadros. His firm now estimates GDP grew at a 2.6% inflation-adjusted, annualized rate, compared to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 government's initial 3.5% tally.

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