Retail sales rose 0.6% matching the Bloomberg Econoday Consensus estimates. This was a pretty solid jump but it was widely expected.
Retail sales proved solid in September hitting the Econoday consensus across the board: total up 0.6 percent, ex-auto up 0.5 percent, ex-auto ex-gas up 0.3 percent. Auto sales as expected are the highlight of the report, up 1.1 percent to reverse the prior month’s 0.3 percent decline. Auto sales, a discretionary category, have been solid this year though down from last year’s peak. Restaurants, another discretionary category, are also strong, up 0.8 percent to add to August’s 0.7 percent gain.
Other positives include two related to housing, furniture which rose 1.0 percent and building materials & garden equipment, up 1.4 percent. This latter reading will give a boost to the residential investment component of the third-quarter GDP report.
This whole report in fact will give a lift to GDP, providing a quarter-end pop to consumer spending which was soft in the quarter’s first two months. Strength in retail sales ultimately reflects strength in the labor market and today’s report will further build expectations for an FOMC rate hike at the December meeting.
Three for Three
Later this morning we will find out how these numbers affected GDP model estimates.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock