November has been a month of bouncing back from the weak points experienced during the month of October. Retail sales went up while the number applications filed for jobless claims went down. However, all the numbers still show no signs of a stronger US economy that is growing at a faster pace.
Based on the reports released by the Commerce Department, the retail sales for last month rose by up to 0.3 percent. However, Wallstreet analysts and economists have initially predicted a boost of 0.5 percent so there is little reason to be overjoyed with the month-end results. In fact, the 0.3 percent increase only takes back the 0.3 percent decrease experienced in September by the retail industry.
According to economists, this better data on retail sales is quite encouraging considering that a majority of US consumers have showed signs of fear for the coming year. This is following the government announcement of implementing austerity measures in an effort of pushing the economy up.
Small Business Owners Fear Austerity Measures
Small business owners say that they fear the austerity measures Washington has planned out. From the information gathered by the National Federation of Business, it has been established that small business owners never believed that the recession ended and thus, they expect the next six months to be really tough financially. In fact, small business sentiments fell to 87.5 in November.
Aside from the oncoming fiscal cliff, small business owners also fear the higher healthcare costs and the endless changes in business regulations.
Electronic Sale Fuel Hopes For Better Economy
Meanwhile, the sale of electronics, building materials and gasoline are healthier at an increase of 0.5 percent for the month of November alone. The technology sector is found to be growing up to three times better than the other private sectors in the US. And the reported growth is noticeable in all US communities and not just in technology hubs like in Seattle and Silicon Valley.
The good news is, compared to the other sectors of the economy that are unstable when it comes to growth, the hi-tech industry is expected to continue expanding until 2020. According to the estimations provided by economists, the hi-tech industry is projected to grow by 16.2% percent from 2013 to 2020. This is a better growth rate than the 13.1% projection for the other US industries.
A better explanation provided is that the job openings are adequately supported by the wealth created by the technologies invented. So as long as consumers keep buying electronic gadgets then more jobs will continue to be created.
Jobless Claims Declined in November
Despite the sentiments for the coming fiscal cliff, the number of jobless claims filed have decreased last month. According to reports, claims went down from 372,000 to 343,000. This would indicate the four consecutive weeks of declines in jobless claims. Hence, this is a sign of the good progress in the employment market.
Overall, consumers and small business owners share the same sentiments over the looming fiscal cliffs. But if the sectors of the US economy are to be taken apart and viewed independently, it is to be noticed that some are faring better than the others. December statistics are yet to be counted and will determine if the final quarter of 2012 will mark a significant beginning for 2013.