2017 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 10/13/2017 8:30:00 AM For Sep, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change-0.2 %-0.1 %1.8 %0.7 % to 2.6 %1.6 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.2 %0.5 %0.8 %0.1 % to 1.9 %1.0 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change-0.1 %0.1 %0.4 %0.1 % to 0.6 %0.5 %
Control Group – M/M change-0.2 %0.0 %0.2 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.4 %

Hurricane effects inflated the headline gain for the September retail sales report which nevertheless does show fundamental strength. Total retail sales surged 1.6 percent as vehicle sales, reflecting replacement demand following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, surged 3.6 percent. Gasoline sales, up 5.8 percent, are also a factor here reflecting the spike in pump prices following Harvey.

Yet after stripping out autos and gas, retail sales still managed a very strong 0.5 percent gain. Restaurants are a key positive, jumping 0.8 percent in the month to reverse a run of weakness in prior months. Two possible hurricane-related gains are grocery stores, up a rare 1.0 percent in the month, and building materials which spiked 2.1 percent. But the Commerce Department, which compiles this report, made no comment on any direct effects from the hurricanes.

Control group sales, which exclude autos, restaurants, building materials, and gas, are another core measure and are also very positive, up 0.4 percent. The economy is at full employment and wages are on the rise which are strong positives for consumer spending. Today's report marks a very strong finish for third-quarter consumer spending and will encourage FOMC policy makers to raise rates at their coming meetings.

Consensus Outlook
Replacement demand made for one-time strength in unit auto sales during September and together with a major lift from higher gasoline prices are expected to drive a rare 1.8 percent gain for total retail sales. When excluding autos, the expected gain remains formidable at 0.8 percent though when excluding autos and gas, expectations fall to 0.4 percent. Control group sales offer a more steady reading on underlying trends and here the consensus is very modest, at 0.2 percent. Note that sales in August were unusually weak and will make for easy monthly comparisons: down 0.2 percent overall, up 0.2 percent ex-auto, down 0.1 percent ex-autos ex-gas, down 0.2 percent for the control group.

Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. Sales are by retail and food services stores. Data are collected from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Essentially, retail sales cover the durables and nondurables portions of consumer spending. Consumer spending typically accounts for about two-thirds of GDP and is therefore a key element in economic growth.  Why Investors Care
Nearly 75 percent of the time, changes in monthly retail sales are between +1 percent and -1 percent. However, there are many months in which the monthly change falls outside that range. Most of the time, excessive increases or decreases are due to higher/lower spending on motor vehicle sales. Year-over-year changes in retail sales can be volatile as well, but tend to be smoother than monthly changes.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/132/153/154/145/126/147/148/159/1510/1311/1512/14
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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