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An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
Topic - Ted Wieseman
Extremely cold and snowy weather inhibited America’s shoppers last month, causing a 0.4 percent drop in retail sales, and the Christmas selling season was poorer than previously reported, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.
The nation's economy overcame a round of federal budget cuts and posted a surprisingly strong 3.6 percent growth rate in the summer quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday morning.
The biggest jump in interest rates since 1987 is pummeling the mortgage market and raising worries about the health of the robust housing rebound that has been fueling economic growth this year.
Ted Wieseman, economist at Morgan Stanley, said he estimates growth in the last quarter of 2013 was closer to 2.5 percent than the 3.2 percent rate reported last week by the Commerce Department, thanks to the worse than expected Christmas shopping season revealed in Thursday’s retail sales report.
“Weakness in January was not too surprising after widespread indications of a large weather drag on sales in the middle and eastern parts of the country during the last week of the month,” but Mr. Wieseman said he had figured growth was healthier at the end of last year.