November 20, 2013
Statement from LIA Chief Economist John Rizzo on Retail Sales and Consumer Prices
By: Dr. John A. Rizzo
"The Commerce Department reported today that core retail sales, which exclude volatile sales of automobiles, gasoline and building materials, increased at a robust pace of 0.5 percent in October, exceeding economists' consensus expectations of 0.3 percent. This indicates that consumer spending was little affected by the federal Government shutdown and that continued growth in retail sales may be anticipated as the economic recovery continues.
Consumer prices actually fell slightly by 0.1 percent in October according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and have risen by just 1 percent over the past 12e months. Thus, inflation remains nowhere in sight, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may continue its stimulus program. So the news on retail sales and prices today is consistent with an economy that continues to recover and a Federal Reserve that will continue to implement economic policies promoting growth."