U.S. retail sales jumped 1 percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists' expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months.
The January report shows strong increases in sales of automobiles and in general merchandise stores.
Sales at gas stations jumped 2.6 percent in January — the biggest increase since June, while sales of autos and parts rose 1.6 percent.
Total retail sales excluding autos and parts still rose 0.9 percent, which again easily beat estimates by economists who expected a decline of 0.5 percent.
Nonstore retailers, such as Internet and mail-order shopping, advanced 2.7 percent in January, while sales of food and beverages rose 2.1 percent.
New Jobless Claims Drop Slightly To 623,000
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of initial jobless benefit claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 623,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 631,000 the previous week.
While I realize the above reports are not necessarily a "rosy picture", could it be that the economy is beginning to make a comeback. Could this be why Obama and crew were frantically trying to get the stimulus package passed as soon as possible ?
Perhaps because if news got out that the economy was beginning to turn around, they would have begun to lose support for the bill, thereby not being able to reward their pals with all that pork.
Just a thought folks !