Retail sales rose significantly more than expected in September. Analysts attribute the surge, announced today, to more jobs and better wages. Coming in the wake of gloomy numbers the big chains released yesterday, it should quiet fears of a recession. "You can't have a recession if consumers are continuing to spend," one economist told Reuters.
In the face of housing market woes and falling consumer confidence, Americans opened their wallets far wider than forecast. Retail sales leapt 0.6%, thumping the forecast of 0.2%. "The pessimism that's been so widely spread about collateral damage from housing hasn't been realized,'' an economist whose prediction was closer to the mark told Bloomberg.