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Weekly economic review & outlook Consumer spending slowing

November 23, 2020

You Need to Know

Week in review

Retail spending slows for October

Retail sales growth decelerated to 0.3 percent for October, the weakest monthly increase since the start of the recovery, but there were large upward revisions.

Existing home sales and housing starts climb further

This year’s housing market boom extended into October as sales of existing homes rose even further while home construction activity continued to rise.

Week Ahead

Forecasts

Consumer spending should climb at a slower rate

Personal consumption expenditures are expected to climb for October, although at a slower pace than in recent months given the already reported slowdown in retail sales.

New home sales projected to rise again

Continued strength in overall housing demand combined with record-low numbers of existing homes on the market should lead to an increase in new home sales.

Retail sales grew by a modest 0.25 percent for October, by far the slowest pace since the reopening of state and local economies in May. The slowdown occurred across many categories, led by large declines at clothing, furniture, and department stores. This was the sixth consecutive month of gains in retail spending, however, as total sales have more than offset their losses from March and April during the government-mandated lockdowns.

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