Retail Sales Ease Recession Worries

Unexpectedly rosy September numbers offset fears over housing, credit markets
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 11:06 AM CDT
This is the J. C. Penney store in the Mall at Robinson, in Robinson Township, Pa., seen on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Retail sales posted a stronger-than-expected gain and prices at the wholesale level...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – 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.