Percent change in sale of goods and services, from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011.
Percent change in sale of goods and services, from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011. Jess Jiang/NPR
Consumer sentiment hit a 30 year low today, but the latest retail sales numbers tell a different story. Retail and food services sales increased by 1.1 percent last month, 7.9 percent from the same month last year.
These numbers may not sound huge, but they're a big deal. They mean that despite all the bad economic news out there about home sales and unemployment, consumers are feeling okay enough to go out and spend money. People may be saying they aren't feeling so great about the economic outlook, but that hasn't stopped them from opening their wallets.
One particular bright spot, is auto and parts sales which increased 3.6 percent this month from last.