U.S. Outlook: Consumers go shopping in the fourth quarter

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Retail sales gains have been impressive over the last three months. Sales jumped in September in the aftermath of the hurricanes, but sales have largely continued surging into October and November. The November retail sales report, released earlier this week, easily beat consensus expectations and October sales were revised higher.Graph showing retail sales

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Dec. 15.

Key observations:
  • We have bumped up our forecast for real consumer spending in the fourth quarter to 3.1% annualized, which pushes up our real GDP estimate for Q4 to a solid 2.8% annualized.
  • The three month annualized growth rate for retail and food service sales is at a sizzling 11.7% through November.
  • Building material sales are holding more than 10% above year ago levels through November.

Read the full report.


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