- New Zealand: International Trade (Feb)
- Korea: Consumer Survey Index (Mar); Philippines: Public Finance (Jan)
- Weekly: **Initial Claims Data Revisions Completed**
- Euro area: Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator (Mar)
- US: New Residential Sales (Feb)
- Belgium: Business Survey (Mar)
- Uruguay: GDP (Q4)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Index Strengthens; Expectations Surge
The Kansas City Fed reported that its index of regional manufacturing sector business activity increased to 20 during March...
U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rise
Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 258,000 (-3.0% y/y) during the week ended March 18...
U.K. Retail Looks Less Bulletproof
For the most part, the assessments embodied in the March survey from the UK's CBI are being taken as being upbeat...
U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall to Five-Month Low; Inventory Remains Tight
Sales of existing single-family homes declined 3.7% (+5.4% y/y) to 5.480 million units (AR) during February...
U.S. FHFA House Price Index Momentum Diminishes
The FHFA U.S. house price index remained unchanged during January following a 0.4% December increase ...
Japan's Trade Trends Turn Sharply Higher
Japan has logged its largest current account surplus since April 2010...
by Tom Moeller March 15, 2016
Retail spending showed little strength in the latest Commerce Department report. Total retail sales & spending at food services eased 0.1% in February (+6.2% y/y) after a 0.4% January decline, last month reported as a 0.2% increase. Lower gasoline prices contributed the most to the latest decline as service station sales dropped 4.4% (-13.1% y/y) following a 3.3% decline. Overall retail sales excluding gasoline rose 0.2% (4.8% y/y) and made up January's 0.2% drop. The weakness in overall retail sales matched the 0.1% fall-off expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.
A second straight 0.2% decline (+10.3%) in auto sales also contributed greatly to the weakness in overall retail spending. The decline matched the drop in unit auto sales reported earlier this month. Excluding autos, retail sales eased 0.1% (+5.1% y/y) after a 0.4% drop, revised from a 0.1% uptick. A 0.2% decline had been expected.
Retail sales fell 0.3% (+5.7% y/y), the same as in January. Weakness in spending was broad-based last month. Furniture & home furnishing store sales dropped 0.5% (+6.5% y/y), off for the third month in the last four. General merchandise store sales declined 0.2% (+5.0% y/y) following a 0.5% drop. Electronics & appliance store sales eased 0.1% (-0.4% y/y) after a 0.2% decline. Sales by nonstore retailers slipped 0.2% (+8.0% y/y), but that followed a 1.6% jump.
Offsetting these declines was improvement in sales of building material & hardware stores which rose 1.6% (17.0% y/y) after a 0.4% drop. Also firm were sales at sporting goods, hobby shop, book & music stores which rose 1.2% (9.2% y/y), although that failed to recover all of the prior month's 2.2% decline. Apparel & accessory outlet sales also improved 0.9% (6.0% y/y) following little change during the prior two months.
Sales in the non-discretionary categories were mixed. Health & personal goods store sales recovered 0.7% (6.9% y/y) following two months of decline. To the downside, however, were food & beverage store sales by 0.2% (+4.5% y/y) following a 0.5% rise.
Restaurant sales gained 1.0% (9.5% y/y) and made up the prior month's decline.
The retail sales figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics figures are in the AS1REPNA database.
|Retail Spending (%)||Feb||Jan||Dec||Feb Y/Y||2015||2014||2013|
|Total Retail Sales & Food Services||-0.1||-0.4||0.3||6.2||2.1||3.9||3.7|
|Non-Auto Less Gasoline, Building Supplies & Food Services||-0.0||0.2||-0.2||5.7||3.0||3.3||2.7|
|Motor Vehicle & Parts||-0.2||-0.2||0.0||10.3||7.0||7.5||8.3|
|Retail Less Autos||-0.3||-0.3||0.2||4.3||-0.2||2.6||2.6|
|Food Service & Drinking Places Sales||1.0||-1.1||1.3||9.5||8.1||6.2||3.4|