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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- January 13, 2012

- Consumer credit surged by $20.4 billion in November, nearly three times more than the consensus estimate and the largest gain in nearly ten years.

. Growth reflected increases in credit card use, car loans, and student loans, and there is fear that the lack of real income growth and higher prices for necessities have caused consumers to reduce savings and take on more debt.

- Retail sales rose just 0.1 percent month-over-month in December following a 0.4 percent rise in November.

. Sales excluding gasoline, building materials, and motor vehicle dealers fell 0.2 percent in December, the largest drop since July 2010.

- During the first week of January, weekly jobless claims jumped to 399,000, as recent improvements may have been exaggerated by the seasonal adjustment process.

- Recent data on trade and inventories suggested more modest growth, and as a result we have slightly reduced our estimate for fourth quarter real GDP growth to 3.4 percent.

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