By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com – US markets opened lower this Friday after disappointing retail sales and industrial production data showed the effects of inflation for both industry and consumers.
At 9:45 AM ET (3:45 PM CET), the was down 285 points, or 0.8%, to 35,829 points, while the was down 0.3%. The managed to snatch a + 0.2%, thanks to the perception that a possible slowdown in the economy could reduce the need for rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Official data this morning showed retail sales fell 1.9% in December, the largest monthly decline since February. While several factors made the data worse than it actually is (fearful consumers shopped early in October and November), the data points to weakening consumer spending.
Marc Ostwald, chief economist for ADM ISI in London, said the figures would be even worse, considering they have not been adjusted for inflation.
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