WASHINGTON – Retail sales rose in November and jobless claims fell sharply last week, hopeful signs for an economy that appears to have slowed sharply in the fourth quarter.
Retail sales rose 0.3%, rebounding from a 0.3% decline in October, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an increase of 0.5% last month.
Saj Karsan submits:Many economists project a slow recovery from this recession, as consumer spending, which makes up more than two thirds of the economy, is not expected to rebound any time soon. On what basis are economists making these projections? Mounting job losses are a major reason why consumer spending is not expected to be strong, and serves as a risk to the economy going forward as we discussed here.
Michael Panzner submits: Some experts claim that a slowing rate of decline in certain indicators is a clear sign that the economy is on the mend. Others say that aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus can't help but turn things around.
Following Part 1's exposure to the faux-prosperity of the post-2009 'recovery' and the precariousness of the Bernanke bubble, Part 2 of the series explained the dismal internals of the jobs numbers the utterly politicized calculation of the “unemployment rate” that disguises the jobless nature of the rebound (
Back in 2010, Goldman's Jan Hatzius, fresh on the heels of QE2, committed rookie Economist mistake 101, and mistook a centrally-planned market response to what then was a record liquidity infusion, for an improvement in the economy (a move we appropriately mocked at the time, as it was quite clear that the Fed's intervention meant the economy was getting worse not better).
Matteo Radaelli submits: Trade Balance (Wednesday 10) – With consumer spending rebounding at the tail end of the year, we expect exports to increase more than imports in December, widening the trade balance deficit. Our estimate is for imports to increase by 2.6% to USD179.12 billion and exports by 2% to USD141 billion. Should our estimates prove correct, trade balance surplus may rise to USD38.1 billion.
Zachary Scheidt submits:
Yesterday, the market dealt a disturbing blow to frustrated bulls who were riding the recent rebound in equities. Before the market opened, futures were a bit weak after a report showed German business sentiment was not as strong as expected.