Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Total retail sales jumped up 0.9 percent in August, following a downwardly revised, but still relatively strong, 0.6 percent gain in July. However, unlike July, August’s headline increase does not reflect broad-based strength. The bulk of the overall increase was due to a 5.5 percent price-related jump in sales at gasoline stations. Perhaps the only solid reading was on auto sales, which jumped up 1.7 percent in August after two months of flat to down sales growth. Still, the components of this release that map directly into nominal PCE growth were weak in August. “Core” retail sales—which excludes sales at gasoline stations, auto dealers and of building materials—slipped down 0.1 percent in August, pausing after a sharp 0.8 percent gain in July. Still, over the last 3 months, the annualized growth rate in core sales is up 1.9 percent, barely keeping pace with inflation and well below its 12-month growth rate of 3.6 percent.