The dollar was boosted today following a positive US retail sales report which showed higher than expected sales for last month. Americans decided to go out and spend more, helping lift September sales figures by 1.1 percent, much more than what economists predicted at 0.7 percent. Furthermore, the numbers for August sales were revised upwards to 1.2 percent.
Data show that US consumers increased their household spending on supplies for their children before going back to school. There were also reports of increased spending on electronics, household appliances, as well as on vehicles.
In fact cars in general have a large impact on sales figures. Sales in the automobile sector rose by 1.3 percent according to the data. This was a much needed boost to the US automobile industry which has been struggling during the recession.
The electronics sector saw a large boost as well, with stores selling electronics receiving a large increase in business last month. It is believed that the release of the new iPhone contributed to an increase in electronics sales. The sector saw an increase of 4.5 percent, the biggest gain in electronics sales since October 2011.
Today’s retail sales report will give some optimism to markets that this boost in numbers could help the US third quarter GDP numbers increase as well. This would put the US on track for a stronger recovery. Currently growth is forecast at 1.3 percent.
The news today was positive for the dollar, which rose against most counterparts, especially against the Japanese yen. USDJPY rose as high as 78.85 yen.