News / Economy

Data Boosts US Economic Outlook

Economic Data Boosts US Outlooki
|| 0:00:00
X
Mil Arcega
October 17, 2012 11:44 PM
American consumers may be feeling better about the economy. The Commerce Department says overall retail spending exceeded expectations in September as consumers spent more on electronics goods and cars. As Mil Arcega reports, a recent string of positive data bodes well for the all-important holiday shopping season.

Economic Data Boosts US Outlook

American consumers may be feeling better about the economy.  The Commerce Department says overall retail spending exceeded expectations in September as consumers spent more on electronics goods and cars. A recent string of positive data bodes well for the all-important holiday shopping season.

An improving job picture, better than expected earnings on Wall Street and signs of recovery in the troubled housing market are helping to lift American consumer confidence.

Many opened their wallets in September, boosting retail sales 1.1 percent --  and giving retailers an early start on the holiday shopping season.

Economist Cary Leahey says electronics led gains, with the launch of Apple's newest iPhone lifting sales in that sector - 4.5 percent.

"I've even seen people say out loud Christmas came early, I bought myself an iPhone. So I think Christmas has come early, and it's off to a very good start," Leahey said.

Higher gasoline prices also contributed to the increase in consumer spending - which accounts for nearly two thirds of the US economy.  Americans also bought more cars and spent more money on food and drinks.

That could prompt companies to restock store shelves at a faster rate ahead of November's Black Friday - a day that traditionally marks the start of the holiday shopping season.

And this year, Retail Strategist Clementine Illanes says companies are paying greater attention to customer preferences.

"They are getting better at really understanding their customers.  So really mining data, looking at analytics (statistical analysis) to be able to target their customers much more uniquely depending on what that specific customer is actually looking for," Illanes said.

But while the economic data is encouraging, Hong Kong investor Jackson Wong says it's too early to make assumptions.

"One-month data doesn't indicate too strongly.  However when we look at export data from China was increasing and the U.S. data - retail sales data-- was increasing, that means the economy activities are picking up," Wong said.

The increase in retail spending has prompted some economists to revise growth estimates from 1.6 to 2 percent in the third quarter.  Some say sales of the new iPhone 5 alone could add one third of one percent to U.S. gross domestic product from July to September.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7722
JPY
USD
107.08
GBP
USD
0.6171
CAD
USD
1.1041
INR
USD
61.075

Rates may not be current.