Retail Sales Report Weighs on the Market

The stock market is giving up some ground this morning.

In mediocre news, today’s retail sales report wasn’t so bad. This had been particularly concerning since the holiday shopping season was rather sluggish. The Commerce Department said that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January.

Retail sales are important to watch because consumer spending constitutes about two-thirds of the economy. So if folks are out there putting some cash out, that probably reflects an improving jobs market and increased confidence.

The weak spot in today’s report was car sales. If we were exclude car sales plus sales figures at gas stations, retail sales rose by 0.6%. That’s the best number in three months.

Posted by on February 14th, 2012 at 11:19 am

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