Last Week in the News

Last Week in the News


Retail sales decreased 1.5% in September, following a revised 2.2% increase in August. However, excluding automobiles, retail sales rose 0.5%, more than the 0.2% increase economists had expected. Car sales fell 10.4% from their August high, as the ‘cash for clunkers’ program expired.

The Commerce Department reported that total business inventory decreased 1.5% in August, following a 1.1% drop in July. It was the 12th straight monthly decline as retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers sought to cut inventory. Total business sales rose 1% in August, pulling the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.33 months to exhaust inventories at the August sales pace.

The Labor Department reported consumer prices rose 0.2% in September. For the year, consumer prices are down 1.3%. This gives the Federal Reserve room to leave interest rates at record-low levels in a further effort to give the economy a boost.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 514,000 in the week ending October 10. The figure was lower than the 520,000 that economists had forecast. The number of people continuing to claim jobless benefits in the week ending October 3 fell by 75,000 to 5.99 million, the fewest since the week ending March 28.

Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities rose 0.7% in September, following an upwardly revised 1.2% increase in August. For the third quarter, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 5.2%, the largest quarterly gain since the first three months of 2005. The overall factory-operating rate rose to 70.5% of capacity in September.

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October fell to 69.4 from 73.5 in September. Economists had forecast a reading of 73.3.

Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on October 19, housing starts on October 20 and existing home sales on October 23.

Anthony Crecco
   The Crecco Companies


There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL