Better-than-expected economic news from the U.S. and China tempered worries about slowing growth in both countries.
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday that retail sales increased 1.1% last month.
Excluding cars, fuel and construction supplies, core retail sales increased 0.9% in September. That topped economists who had expected a 0.3% gain last month, Reuters noted.
Automobile sales increased 1.3%, while electronics jumped 4.5%, possibly due to the release of Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhone 5. Food and beverage sales increased 1.2%, while gas sales gained 2.5%, mostly on higher gas prices.
Despite the rise in retail sales, economists noted that growth remained “lackluster.”
While Americans were buying more, Chinese consumers were paying less. Consumer prices in China fell slightly last month, signalling to economists that efforts to stimulate the slowing Chinese economy may be having an effect.
Last month, the Chinese consumer price index fell to 1.9%, down from 2% in August. More encouraging, producer prices tumbled 3.6% from last year. The price index declines were in line with economists’ predictions, Reuters noted.
The Chinese government said last week that inflation would be about 2.7% for the year, below the 4% goal it had previously set. Economic growth for the year is expected to be about 7.8%.