Real retail sales, one of the four markers of expansion vs. recession, made new post-recession highs in both August and September. In the below graph, I've also included inflation-adjusted manufacturing and trade sales (red), another mesaure of broad sales favored by ECRI, which remains slighly below its springtime high:
This confirms what we've been seeing in the Weekly Indicators, especially Gallup's consumer spending, which has improved markedly since July.
Since industrial production has not recovered from last month's steep downturn, continuing to suggest that the manfacturing part of the economy is contracting, it is encouraging that consumption has not followed suit (and indeed, usually consumption slightly leads both production and employment).
In terms of whether the economy as a whole is still expanding, or is slipping into recession, the real personal income report later this month will take on an added importance.
I'm on Linked In and Twitter (@captivelawyer). Silver Oz's Linked In name is @silver_oz. NDD is a fossil and may be reached by etching a picture in stone on the wall of a cave.
The Bonddad Economic History Project
At the beginning of 2012, I decided to start looking at the actual, statistical history of the US economy starting in 1950. The reason is simple: to find out what really happened. So, when you see title of a post that begins with a year such as 1957, followed by "employment" or "Fed policy: you know what it's for. You can also access the information by typing in BE for Bonddad econ and a year to find information on a particular year.
Here is a link to pages that contain links to all the posts on the years listed.