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Chris Low: Retail sales could follow same pattern as previous months
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Jeremy Hobson: Well let’s get some reaction to all this now from Chris Low, chief economist with FTN Finacnial. He’s with us live from New York as he is every Friday. Good morning, Chris.
Chris Low: Good morning, Jeremy.
Hobson: So Chris, we’ve heard from the protestors there — there seems to be a little distrust of the authorities and of the people on Wall Street. You are plugged in to those people on Wall Street — what do your contacts in the financial industry think of this protest?
Low: Well, I think — at the heart of it anyway — they certainly understand the frustration. A lot of Wall Street employees, like other people, have kids of college age. And they’re well aware of how it is nearly impossible to find a job coming out of college today. And I think that frustration they see as the root of the Occupy movement.
Hobson: Do you think they’re sympathetic to all of this?
Low: They’re sympathetic up to a point. I think they would say that, without question, we need to do something — and by we I mean policymakers — in order to get job creation and the economy going again. But at the same time I think they draw the line at the assumption that Wall Street’s entirely responsible for this mess.
Hobson: Well Chris, I want to get your thoughts on one other thing that came out today. And the reason — probably — why the markets are up this morning, which is: retail sales. We’ve got a one percent gain in retail sales of the most recent survey – that’s the biggest gain in 7 months. Is this something to pop champagne corks about, or is this just a little tidbit here?
Low: Yeah, that’s absolutely the focus on the street today. And certainly the market is up because those numbers are, well, across the board strong. At the same time, if you look back at the course of this year — we’ve had one strong month, and two weak ones — every single quarter. So even though people are thrilled to see some strength in the economy, they’re also skeptical that it can last.
Hobson: Chris Low, chief economist with FTN Financial, thanks so much as always.
Low: You’re welcome. Thank you.