Today We Got A Perfect Snapshot Of What's Happening To The US Economy

At 8:30 AM ET today, we got a perfect snapshot of what’s happening in the US economy.

Retail sales for September were very strong.

Here’s a look at the data. We’ve highlighted several cells to show you what drove the growth. Each red cell shows the sequential growth this month vs. sequential growth in August. While Electronics was a huge improver thanks to the iPhone 5, others areas like grocery, clothing, and food service were also up nicely.

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On the flip side of the consumer number we got a weak Empire Fed report.

There were negative, sub-50 readings across the board:

The October Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to decline for a third consecutive month. The general business conditions index increased four points but remained negative at -6.2. The new orders index rose five points to -9.0, while the shipments index fell nine points to -6.4, its first negative reading in more than a year.

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Bottom line: The US Consumer (in part due to housing) is feeling increasingly strong.

Businesses (perhaps in part due to the fiscal cliff) are still weak.

For more on today’s retail sales, see here >

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Photo: SqueakyMarmot, FLickr

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