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Surprises continue.

Surprises from the monthly economic data for Indiana continue.

The latest surprise comes from Indiana's retail sales figures. Before adjustment, the August figure of $3.59 billion was only $200 million shy of the unadjusted figure from last December, a holiday shopping period that one normally would expect to register substantially higher than an uneventful summer month.

Typically, economists adjust such figures to take into account traditional and expected swings in spending, such as the winter holidays and Mother's Day. Figures also may be adjusted for trading days, to make the data appear as if each month had the same number of trading days. By adjusting to smooth out the normal peaks and valleys, economists, can spot the more abnormal trends in spending and make meaningful month-to-month comparisons. The raw numbers show exactly how much money was spent on the retail level in Indiana.

There was significant growth in Indiana retail sales and consumer spending during most of the year to date, a period that included some recession months. Indiana had by far the best performance of the 19 states with the most retail sales.

Maybe Hoosier consumers never got the media message that "the weak recovery threatens to collapse for lack of strength in consumer spending." It seems that Indiana merchants may experience a record Christmas season this year.

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Title Annotation:Indiana Indicators; retail industry enjoys high income despite recession
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Overnight in Northeast Indiana.
Next Article:Midwest still outperforming the nation.

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