US Economic Drum Beats an Upbeat Tune!

A record 247 million Americans visited stores between Thursday, and Sunday and spent a total of $59.1 bn (£36.9bn) 13% more than last year. The average shopper spent $423 over the weekend, up from $398 last year.
According to online sales rose by a quarter on so called “Black Friday” to break the $1bn mark for the first time, the company also expects shoppers to spend $1.5bn on Cyber Monday 20% more than last year.
The NRF has forcast a 4.1% increase in retail sales during November & December less than the 5.6% jump recorded last year.
The US Housing market is up sharply in November, home sales rose 2.1% in October as stocks remain optimistic about a budget deal in Washington in the coming weeks. Builders are more confident than any other time in the last 6 1/2 years Joseph LaVorgna an economist at Deutsche Bank (DB), estimates that the housing recovery could boost US economic growth by a full percentage point next year. Thats because a stronger housing market would mean more jobs, especially in industries like construction, and more consumer spending. “Housing could provide a meaningful -and critical- lift to overall economic activity when other growth drivers like exports are slowing” LaVorgna said. An index of builder sentiment
compiled by the National Association of Home Builders/ Wells Fargo builder confidence rose to 46 this month up from 41 in October. The index rose 27 points in the past 12 months, sales of previously owned homes rose by 2.1% to a five year high, sales are 11% higher than a year ago. Due to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy sales in the Northeast dropped by 1.7% only 2.14 million homes were available for sale at the end of October, the lowest supply in ten years. Alan Levenson chief economist at T. Rowe Price, estimates that the housing recovery could add 25,000 jobs a month next year, consumer spending accounts for 70% of the US economy.
The US economy added 171,000 new jobs in October the private sector added 158,000 new jobs while manufacturing added 14,000 jobs last month. Breaking down the gains large companies led the way with 81,000 new employees, small businesses combined for 50,000 new positions, while medium size businesses added 27,000. According to the US Dept of Labor unemployment claims fell to 363,000 a decline of 9,000. Nonfarm productivity increased at an annualized rate of 1.9%


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