||Last Updated: Jan 15th, 2008 - 14:53:50
US retail sales fell in December signalling that consumer spending is under strain; Producer/Wholesale prices rose 6.3% in 2007 - the highest since 1981
By Finfacts Team
Jan 15, 2008, 14:43
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US retail sales fell 0.4% in December, the US Commerce Department said today. The drop indicated that consumer spending, which accounts for over 70% of US national output, is under strain.
The Department of Labor also reported today a small decline in US producer/Wholesale prices in December but for 2007 as a whole, they recorded the highest calendar-year increase in over a quarter century, fuelled by higher energy, commodity and food prices.
For all of 2007, sales rose 4.2%, the softest annual gain since 2.4% in 2002. Sales in 2006 went up 5.9%.
Total sales for the October through December 2007 period were up 4.9%. The October to November 2007 percent change was revised from +1.2% to +1.0%.
Retail trade sales were down 0.4% from November 2007, but were 4.3 percent above last year.
Gasoline station sales were up 18.5 percent from December 2006 and sales of nonstore retailers were up 12.1% from last December.
The US producer price index (PPI) for finished goods fell 0.1% in December according to the Labor Department today. In November, the PPI had surged 3.2%, - the biggest one-month rise since 1973 when Richard Nixon was President.
The "core" PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.2% in December but down from 0.4% in November.
In 2007, producer prices rose 6.3%, the biggest jump since 1981, compared with a core rate rise of 2%.
The Federal Reserve closes watches the core rate and will be assured that it has remained relatively low but high energy and food prices will not be a temporary phenomenon.