Bloomberg by the Numbers: 0.4%

Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Shoppers on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

That’s the projected growth in retail sales in September, minus motor vehicles.

Bloomberg’s Shobhana Chandra reports that retail sales probably stalled in September as Americans shied away from auto showrooms, indicating the economy was cooling ahead of the partial federal shutdown, economists said before reports this week.

“Economists forecast no change in purchases, the worst reading in six months, after a 0.2 percent advance in August, according to the Bloomberg survey median ahead of Commerce Department figures due Oct. 29.” Chandra reports. “Sales excluding motor vehicle dealers may have increased 0.4 percent in September, a sign other merchants had more success luring customers.”

“Faster hiring and wage growth are needed to spur demand that may have weakened further in October as the 16-day government shutdown caused consumer sentiment to falter. Other reports may show manufacturing cooled, job gains decelerated and inflation remained tame, giving the Federal Reserve reason to maintain stimulus at this week’s meeting.”

“Consumers are spending at a slow pace,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh. “We have an economy that is expanding, but handicapped by policy mistakes that cause consumers and businesses to be cautious.”


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