Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Retails sales rose 0.5 percent in October, surprising forecasts for a modest pull-back after jumping up 1.1 percent in September. Importantly, even after excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.6 percent during the month, its third consecutive increase above 0.5 percent. This follows a soft patch from April to July where sales growth increased just 1.1 percent over that four-month span. Cross-category performance was generally positive, though sales at furniture and home furnishing stores, gasoline stations, and clothing and accessory stores all dipped in October. Interestingly, nominal sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (a discretionary spending category) continued to post strong gains, rising 1.3 percent in October and have now climbed up to its highest 12-month growth rate ( 9.1 percent) since mid-1998. “Core” retail sales (sales excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations)—a less noisy indicator of the trend in consumption growth—increased 0.6 percent in October, following a 0.5 percent gain in September. The 3-month annualized growth rate in core retail sales rose to 6.6 percent in October, edging just above its 12-month growth rate of 6.1 percent, which may be a tentative sign of continued strength.