When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Consumers Are Driving Heady Q4 GDP

The majority of US consumers are no longer on the sidelines. On Friday the numbers point to strong retail sales for two months in a row.

Overall US retail sales in November spiked by 1.3% after a healthy 1.1% gain in October. November's increase was well above the consensus estimates breaking above even the most optimistic estimate. Keep in mind that these numbers are significant components of the overall GDP for the US. When annualized they equated to a heady 13.2% increase in October and 15.6% in November.

Sales were led by a 6.0% month over month jump in gasoline sales with additional strength in electronics & appliances. Auto dealers' month to month sales were also up 2.0%.

Categories that also rose were building materials & garden equipment, food & beverage stores, health & personal care, sporting goods & hobby stores, general merchandise, non-store retailers, and food services & drinking places.

Friday's reading indicates the consumer has much more strength than most anybody had previously believed. There is no doubt now that the strong retail sales numbers will result in a Q4 GDP reading well above Q3.

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