Retail Sales Post Biggest Drop In 10 Years, Producer Prices Increase
October 12, 2001
Retail sales have posted their biggest drop in 10 years.
This morning the U.S Commerce Department released figures showing a 2.4% drop in September.
The figure did not come as a surprise to most analysts, some of whom were expecting the decline to be larger, but most agree it does help confirm that the U.S economy is in a recession.
“This is probably enough to push the economy into negative GDP growth in the summer quarter and set off a new round of inventory reductions that will postpone economic recovery until early 2002,” says Newport Communications Senior Economist Jim Haughey.
He says because the economy was shut down for almost a third of the month following the September attack on the U.S., the figure translates into 3.5-4 percent drop for a month under normal business conditions.
Slowing retail sales could trickle down and affect the trucking industry, because the fewer sales could translate into less goods needing to be moved by truck.
Meanwhile, prices at the wholesale level posted an increase, according to the Labor Department. The Producer Price Index moved up .04% in September, more than many analysts were predicting. The news raises some concerns about inflation.
The biggest increase reported was in the energy sector, where prices spike immediately following the attack on the U.S, which have since moderated.