Today’s October retail sales numbers are again positive and rates continue last week’s up trend as a result. GDP forecasts depend on an accelerating pace of consumer spending, thus the importance of today’s retail sales number which followed September’s .7% increase. October Retail Sales were up 1.2%, ex-auto it was +.4%. Meanwhile the October Empire State Index which measures manufacturing activity was down over 11%. Rates were down drastically earlier today, have since rebounded but are still down 28 basis points—if this holds, it translates into .125% higher rates.