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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Which way is up with the U.S. economy?

November 10, 2009

Check out the mixed messages about the U.S. economy from the various consumer earnings.

Like any other earning day nowadays, it’s pick your poison on whether you want to focus on the good news or the bad news when it comes to whether the economy is improving.

Watchmaker Fossil reported a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit and raised its profit forecast for the fourth quarter, sending shares up. And clothing retailer American Apparel also posted a profit above analysts’ expectations and said it saw signs of momentum in sales.

hotel11Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotels, the world’s biggest hotelier, said it was too early to forecast a recovery as room rates continued to fall due to cutbacks by business travelers. The group, whose brands include InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, and which earns 70 percent of its profit in the United States, said occupancy is stabilizing but room rates are under pressure across the board.

For what it’s worth, top forecasters are growing more confident the U.S. economy has embarked on a sustainable recovery, according to a survey. However, a report last week showed the jobless rate jumped to a 26-1/2 year high of 10.2 percent in October.

Also in the basket:

PREVIEW-AB InBev Q3 profit growth seen slowing

Yum India aims for $1 billion sales by 2015

Firms Loaded With Cash in Position to Diversify (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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