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Economists: Retail sales numbers show economy may be growing more quickly
WASHINGTON (AP) -- One economist says it looks like the impact of higher Social Security taxes and higher gasoline prices "hasn't been too bad."
Paul Dales of Capital Economics is reacting to today's report on retail sales. The Commerce Department says Americans boosted their retail spending by 1.1 percent last month compared with the previous month.
The spending increase came despite the higher Social Security taxes that took effect at the start of the year.
About half the jump reflected higher gasoline prices -- but even when that factor is excluded, retail sales rose by 0.6 percent.
Economists are encouraged by the stronger-than-expected gains. Some say the economy may be growing at a faster rate than expected in the current quarter.
Auto sales rose 1.1 percent after a January increase of 0.4 percent.
Sales at general merchandise stores, which include major department stores and big discount stores, rose 0.5 percent. But the department store category fell 1 percent.
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Posted: Saturday, March 16 2013, 11:04 AM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Line of storms prompts OKC severe T-storm warning
May 23, 2013 11:21 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Canadian and Oklahoma counties.
The warning issued Thursday morning is in effect until 6:30 a.m. and also includes parts of Grady and Cleveland counties.
Forecasters say the main threat from the storms is large hail that could be up to two inches in diameter.
The weather service says there is a slight risk severe of thunderstorms into the afternoon in western Oklahoma. Hail up to the size of tennis balls and winds of up to 70 miles per hour are possible. There is also a risk of tornadoes in the risk area.
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From the FOX 25 First Forecast Center..Good morning everyone...
Not expecting organized severe weather but showers and t'storms from time to time could hamper tornado relief efforts. ...
Bernanke signals Fed to maintain stimulus efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs.
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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