Slower growth in retail sales in October fits with a sense that the economy is downshifting in the fourth quarter and the key factor to contemplate is whether this weakness is the start of broader downturn, said Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic on Tuesday.
While the economy is” fine,” some sectors are struggling and the federal relief given to households is starting to run out, Bostic said in an interview on CNBC.
“So we’re going to be paying very close attention to the numbers moving forward to see whether this weakness in retail sales translates into something more deep,” Bostic said.
October retail sales rose 0.3% , well below the 1.6% gain in September.
The Atlanta Fed president, who is the first Black president of a regional Fed bank, has been mentioned for a possible spot in the new Biden Administration.
Bostic said he was keeping his head down and had not talked to anyone in the Biden transition team.
In his comments on the outlook, Bostic urged Congress to pass another coronavirus relief measure. He said the Fed would use all its tools as needed.
“We are committed to using all our tools, they have some juice,” he said.
Stock-index futures retreated after the retail sales data from October was released. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.90% was up 470 points on Monday.