Tuesday, 16 November 2010

US retail sales and eurozone exports rise

US retail sales were surprisingly strong in October. Reuters reports:

Sales at U.S. retailers posted their strongest gain in seven months during October, adding to signs the economy was regaining strength after hitting a soft patch in the summer.

The Commerce Department said on Monday total retail sales rose a surprisingly strong 1.2 percent, nearly double market expectations, as consumers snapped up motor vehicles and building materials...

Although the New York Federal Reserve's "Empire State" general business conditions index unexpectedly fell to -11.1 in November from 15.7 in October, economists were little worried...

A second report from the Commerce Department showed business inventories rose 0.9 percent to $1.40 trillion, the highest level since March 2009, after increasing by a revised 0.9 percent in August.

Also showing some resilience is eurozone exports. Again from Reuters:

The euro zone had a bigger than expected trade surplus in September, data showed on Monday, as export growth outpaced the rise in imports year-on-year.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said the 16 countries using the euro had a trade surplus with the rest of the world of 2.9 billion euros in September, up from 1.4 billion last year and a deficit of 5 billion euros in August.

Eurostat said unadjusted exports grew 22 percent year-on-year in September, while imports were up 21 percent.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, exports grew 0.6 percent month-on-month in September while imports fell 2.5 percent against August.

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