Good Economic News of the Week

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Since I posted a big ol’ stew of bad economic news last night, it’s only fair to perk up the start of your week with some good economic news:

U.S. retail sales surged in October, rising above expectations on robust car sales and solid spending for a broad array of merchandise going into the holiday shopping season.

Separately, inventories at U.S. businesses in September rose above expectations, a sign of confidence among companies in the economic recovery as the holiday shopping season grew nearer. Retail sales rose 1.2% last month….The increase was the biggest since March and the fourth in a row. September sales rose 0.7%, revised up from a previously estimated 0.6% increase.

I don’t know if this is sustainable or not. Without a big drop in unemployment and steady wage gains, I doubt it, since consumers are still deleveraging and look to be doing so for a while now. Still, it’s good to see. I guess all that regulatory uncertainty isn’t holding back businesses after all.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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