US Shoppers Go On Spending Spree

19 October 2004

The mixed messages about the state of the US economic recovery just keep coming.

With two weeks until the presidential election, retail sales figures for September gave George W Bush a welcome surprise, rising by 1.5% from August and 7.7% from a year ago. Car buyers have been especially busy.

However, Michigan University's respected consumer confidence survey belies the sales figures and shows a marked downward slide, while the nation's industrial output rose by just 0.1%, below expectations of 0.3%.

Overall the picture is less than rosy [WAMN: 18-Oct-2004] and says Commerzbank global strategist Bob Gay: "You get a sense that consumer optimism is not what it was at the beginning of the year."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff