3 of 7
BACKNEXT
Retail sales
Retail sales have been showing signs of life in recent months. The government's seasonally adjusted retail sales reading, excluding autos, has risen in five of the last six months. Still, the National Retail Federation is forecasting that sales during the all important holiday shopping season will be down 1% from a year ago.

A better than expected Christmas season would do a lot to lift worries hanging over the economy. But with credit tight, unemployment high and consumers who have jobs saving more, some worry retail sales will disappoint. That could cause additional problems for retailers and companies that make the products they sell.

Since consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the nation's economic activity, healthy retail sales are the key to a strong rebound. "If consumers get unexpectedly scared of buying at Christmas, we could go back into recession," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's.

NEXT: Oil

Last updated November 16 2009: 12:08 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Getty family known for its wealth and misfortunes The Getty family may be as famous for its fortune as the misfortune that has dogged its name for years. Here is a brief history of the players in the tumultuous Getty saga. More
The 32 best April Fools' Day gags of 2015 April Fools' Day is here, which means that businesses around the world are letting their guard down. More
World's worst cities for rush hour traffic So you thought your city had the worst rush hour traffic in the world? More

Special Offer