Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Nominal retail sales slipped down 0.3 percent in October, retreating slightly after two consecutive monthly gains of more than 1.0 percent. The Census Bureau released a set of FAQs alongside the report pertaining to the effects Hurricane Sandy may have had on the estimates. They noted that the effects of the hurricane could not be isolated in the survey, but they received anecdotal evidence of both positive and negative effects on the retail sales data. According to the FAQs, the response rate for the survey (2,579) was within its normal range, and while the response rate for firms in the affected area was weaker than usual, many larger firms with locations in the affected area included responses. All that said, the slight decline in October was not statistically significant (the 90 percent C.I. is plus or minus 0.5 percent). Cross-category performance was mixed during the month. Gasoline stations were the strongest category in October, rising 1.4 percent, while the sharpest sales declines were felt at building material, garden equipment, and supplies stores (down 1.9 percent). “Core” retail sales (excluding autos, building supplies, and gas stations) slipped down 0.1 percent following a 0.9 percent gain in September. Over the past three months, core sales are trending at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, roughly on par with its year-over-year growth rate of 3.0 percent.