Consumer Sentiment Up. Inventories up. Will Consumers Really Spend?

Import/Export Prices (October 2012)

Export Prices – Month/Month + 0.0%
Export Prices – Year/Year +1.4%
Import Prices – Month/Month +0.5%
Import Prices – Year/Year +0.4%

Trade prices and volume could prove interesting in the coming 12 months.  Important factors are:  decreased demand for exports as parts of the EU fall into recession. Flat or decreased demand for oil imports and the US economy remains stagnant at best. Potential increase in the values of the US $ as the EU problem worsens making US goods more expensive and decreasing the volume of exports. 

Consumer Sentiment (November 2012)

Index was 84.9 up from 82.6.

Consumer Sentiment is a survey index which is supposed to measure consumers predisposition to spend.  Sentiment has not turned into spending, at least before the election.

Wholesale Trade (September 2012)

– Wholesale Trade was +1.1%.  Previous was +0.5%. This contributes to GDP gain since inventory growth is part of GDP.  The month-to-month flucuations in wholesale trade are often corrections to the supply side having not previously gotten correct what consumers were going to purchase in previous months.

If you want to know where the economy is going, all you need to watch is consumer spending.