Recent Updates

  • Japan: TANKAN Summary (Q4)
  • Singapore: Average Household Consumption (Oct)
  • New Zealand: Motor Vehicle Registrations, PMI (Nov)
  • Markit PMI: Manufacturing Survey - New Zealand (Nov)
  • US: Mfg & Trade Inventories & Sales (Oct), Import/Export Prices, Adv Retail Sales (Nov)
  • Spain: CPI, HICP, Social Security Affiliations (Nov), Population (2017)
  • Ireland: CPI, HICP (Nov), Planning Permissions (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Moderate
by Tom Moeller  November 15, 2017

Total retail sales and spending at restaurants edged 0.2% higher (4.6% y/y) during October following a 1.9% September jump, revised from 1.6%. A 0.1% uptick had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Much of the moderation in sales growth was due to a lessened 0.7% rise (5.4% y/y) in motor vehicle & parts sales as it followed a 4.6% jump. The increase compared to a 2.6% m/m decline (+1.2% y/y) in unit motor vehicle sales. Retail sales excluding autos nudged up 0.1% (4.4% y/y) following a 1.2% rise, revised from 1.0%. A 0.3% gain had been expected.

A 1.2% decline (+7.4% y/y) in gasoline service station sales also dampened the gain in total retail sales. Higher prices had generated strength during the prior two months. Retail sales excluding autos and gasoline improved 0.2% after a 0.7% rise.  Sales growth has been steady near 4.0% y/y since March.

Spending on nonauto discretionary items was uneven last month. Sporting goods & hobby shop store sales jumped 1.5% (-2.4% y/y) following weakness since February. Apparel purchases strengthened 0.8% (0.4% y/y) after a 0.1% uptick. Sales of furniture & home furnishings increased 0.7% (4.8% y/y) after a 0.1% rise. Electronics & appliance store sales also rose 0.7% (2.1% y/y) following a 0.3% gain. To the downside were building materials and garden equipment store sales which declined 2.1% (7.7% y/y) following a 0.6% rise. Sales at nonstore retailers were off 0.3% (+9.6% y/y) after a 0.6% increase. General merchandise store sales eased slightly (+1.4% y/y) following a 0.3% rise.

In the nondiscretionary spending sector, food & beverage store sales rose 0.7% (2.3% y/y), about as they did in September. Health & personal care store sales jumped 0.8% (4.8% y/y) following stability in the prior month.

Restaurant sales improved 0.8% (2.2% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick.

The retail sales data can be found in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics forecast is in the AS1REPNA database.

Retail Spending (%) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 0.2 1.9 -0.1 4.6 3.2 2.6 4.3
  Excluding Autos 0.1 1.2 0.5 4.4 3.0 1.4 3.8
  Non-Auto Less Gasoline 0.2 0.7 0.1 4.0 3.9 4.2 4.6
Retail Sales 0.2 2.1 -0.1 4.9 2.9 1.9 4.1
  Motor Vehicle & Parts 0.7 4.6 -2.0 5.4 4.1 7.3 6.4
 Retail Less Autos 0.0 1.4 0.5 4.7 2.5 0.4 3.4
  Gasoline Stations -1.2 6.4 3.4 7.4 -5.7 -17.6 -2.0
Food Service & Drinking Places Sales 0.8 0.1 0.2 2.2 5.9 8.1 6.1
close
large image