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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- October 14, 2011

- Retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September, led by increases in motor vehicle purchases and strong back-to-school sales.

. The rise likely does not mark a significant shift in spending, however, as constrained credit, unwinding debt, and low confidence continue to plague consumers.

- Initial jobless claims fell to 404,000 from an upwardly-revised 405,000 last week, while the four-week moving average fell by 7,000 to 408,000.

. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed the number of open positions declined in August, as job openings as a percentage of total employment fell to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in July.

- The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.8 points to 88.9 in September, but the number of firms with plans to hire fell to 4.0 percent from 5.0 percent last month.

- Minutes from the September 20-21 FOMC meeting showed the Federal Reserve’s outlook for economic growth deteriorated, but there was no evidence of a contraction in economic activity.

. We continue to expect slow, subpar economic growth around a 1.5 to 2.0 percent annual pace in both 2H11 and 2012.

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