Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Retail Sales where up in March…..Where do we go from here?

Retail sales soared in March, the government said Wednesday, in the latest sign of improving consumer confidence.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales jumped 1.6% last month, the largest monthly increase since November, from an upwardly revised 0.5% gain in February.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had anticipated that sales would rise 1.2% in the month.

March retail sales surged 7.6% compared to the same month in 2009.

Sales excluding autos and auto parts rose 0.6% last month, also topping forecasts. A consensus of economists had projected sales excluding autos to edge up 0.5% in March.

Sales of motor vehicles and parts posted a strong 6.7% gain, while sales of electronics and appliances fell 1.3%.

“This is another good reading,” said Adam York, an economist at Wells Fargo. “But we’re not out of the woods yet.”

York said March sales benefited from promotions tied to the Easter holiday, which came earlier than usual this year. He said some of those gains may be shifted over to the April report.

“These are decent numbers,” he said. “It suggests that the consumer is recovering, but by no means are we looking at a strong economic recovery.”

The rebound in retail sales comes as the labor market has shown tentative signs of improvement. The Labor Department said earlier this month that the economy gained more jobs in March than any other month in the last three years.

Ok….now here’s where things get interesting……

I’m watching MSNBC this morning and the skinny one with the black hair from the NBC financial channel…..you know Erin something that travels all the time…she’s going on about raising the interest rates……She’s like….’the economny is getting better’….’so why is the Fed still giving out easy money?’……

Those you who visit here regularly know that I have a family member that works in the bank mortgage business……

Well I had a conversation with him this weekend and he’s worried….

The banks and real estate agents are doing better…..but they are scared that the rush by the Feds and the government to get away from helping the housing market may be too fast….

Like the incentives to the car market generating sales…the help by the Fed with interest rates and the Government being in the mortgage markets helped pull the country thru the last year…not with interest rates creeping up (already) and tighter credit screening…..the housing market people are afraid the movement in the market could be slowed again by the summer…..

We’ll see…..

But housing sales problems are what made the downturn worst a year ago……


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April 14, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

The Federal Reserve thinks the economy is getting better…but has allowed interest rates to hold……

While they are happy with the recovery …and they also have to look over their shoulders at unemployment rates which went up a tick last week (up about 7,000)….

Traditionally more worried about inflation, the Fed is a bit more wary about messing with things with Bernanke still not approved for a new 5 year hitch  yet, and an administration still worried about employment…higher interest rates ( the current key interest-rate has been at the 0 to 0.25% range) would mean less borrowing in housing, business and governmental sectors….Something that would extinguish any upward movement in the economy…..

The question for them will likely be…..how long can the financial markets and other expect those low rates to last?

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Politics, The Economy | , , | Leave a comment