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Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Tom Moeller November 15, 2016
Total retail sales & spending at restaurants increased 0.8% during October (4.3% y/y) following a 1.0% September rise, revised from 0.6%. A 0.6% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The rise lifted three-month sales growth to 7.2%, its quickest pace since June.
Strength in spending was evident throughout the report. Sales of motor vehicle & parts increased 1.1% (5.4% y/y) after a 1.9% jump. This compared to a 1.5% rise in unit vehicle purchases. Excluding autos, retail sales gained 0.8% (4.0% y/y) after a 0.7% increase. A 0.5% rise had been expected. In the retail control group, which comprises nonauto purchases less gasoline, building materials & restaurants, sales increased 0.8% (4.0% y/y) after a 0.3% rise, revised from 0.1%.
Gasoline service station sales jumped 2.2% (0.8% y/y), strong for the second month with higher prices. Building materials & garden equipment buying gained 1.1% (6.5% y/y) following a 1.8% surge.
Nonstore retailer sales increased 1.5% (12.9% y/y), and continued prior months' strength. Sporting goods, hobby, book & music store sales improved 1.3% (1.7% y/y), about the same as in September. Apparel store sales increased 0.6% (2.3% y/y) following a 0.2% improvement. General merchandise store sales recovered 0.4% (-2.3% y/y) after declining in four of the prior five months. Electronics & appliance stores reported a 0.2% improvement (-4.0% y/y) after shortfalls during four consecutive months. Sales of furniture & home furnishing stores fell 0.9% (+1.7% y/y), the third decline in four months.
In the non-discretionary spending categories, food & beverage store sales improved 0.9% (3.7% y/y), the strongest rise in three months. Health & personal care store sales increased 0.8% (8.3% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick.
Eating out moderated as food service & drinking establishment sales declined 0.7% (+4.3% y/y), and reversed September's 0.7% gain.
|Retail Spending (%)||Oct||Sep||Aug||Oct Y/Y||2015||2014||2013|
|Total Retail Sales & Food Services||0.8||1.0||-0.0||4.3||2.3||4.1||3.8|
|Non-Auto Less Gasoline, Building Supplies & Food Services (Control Group)||0.8||0.3||0.1||4.0||3.3||4.0||2.9|
|Motor Vehicle & Parts||1.1||1.9||0.0||5.4||6.6||6.4||8.3|
|Retail Less Autos||1.0||0.7||-0.1||4.0||0.2||3.2||2.6|
|Food Service & Drinking Places Sales||-0.7||0.7||0.5||4.3||8.1||6.1||3.7|