Be that as it may, today we saw retail sales rise more than expected in September by 1.1 percent beating the median forecast of .7.
"Consumer spending accounts for about two thirds of U.S. economic activity, and the Commerce Department data suggest growth at the end of the third quarter might have been stronger than previously thought.Excluding autos, sales increased 0.6 percent in September, above forecasts for a 0.3 percent gain.
Sales of motor vehicles and parts rose 3.6 percent, the biggest gain since March 2010. That increase — along with higher sales of furniture, gasoline and electronics — made up for lower grocery store and building material sales. Spending at restaurants and bars also rose."
In another story import prices unexpectedly rose 0.3 percent-they were expected to drop 0.3 percent. This will no doubt give some gist to the mill for the inflation hawks, wrongly it goes without saying. What they could actually be is a further suggestion that the economy is heating up-which we want. Really if we did have inflation right now that would be a very positive sign. Many argue-Scott Sumner at Money Illusion-among others that Bernanke ought to raise the inflation target to 3 percent anyway.