2013 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales
Released On 4/12/2013 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change1.1 %1.0 %0.0 %-0.6 % to 0.7 %-0.4 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change1.0 %0.1 %-0.2 % to 0.8 %-0.4 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.4 %0.3 %0.3 %-0.1 % to 0.6 %-0.1 %

Highlights
Retail sales in March came in below expectation and weakness was broad based. Retail sales declined 0.4 percent, following a surge of 1.0 percent in February (originally up 1.1 percent). Market expectations were for no change.

Ex-auto sales in March declined 0.4 percent after a jump of 1.0 percent in February (originally up 1.0 percent). The consensus projected a 0.1 percent advance for March. Gasoline sales were down significantly on lower prices. Excluding both autos and gasoline components, sales slipped 0.1 percent after increasing 0.3 percent in February (originally up 0.4 percent). Analysts forecast a 0.3 percent gain.

Motor vehicle sales decreased 0.6 percent, following a 1.3 percent rise in February. On lower prices, gasoline sales fell 2.2 percent after spiking 5.4 percent in February.

Core subcomponent weakness was broad based with decreases seen in electronics & appliances; food & beverage stores; health & personal care; sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores; and general merchandise.

Gains were seen in furniture & furnishings; building materials & garden equipment; clothing & accessories; miscellaneous store retailers; nonstore retailers; and food services & drinking places.

Higher payroll taxes appear to be finally kicking in-cutting into consumer spending. However, atypically cold weather in March likely dampened sales in a number of subcomponents-including clothing & accessories; building materials & garden equipment; and general merchandise.

On the news, equity futures dipped.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Retail sales in February were strong despite payroll tax increases and delayed income tax refunds. Retail sales jumped 1.1 percent, following a rise of 0.2 percent in January. Motor vehicle sales rebounded a sizeable 1.1 percent, following a 0.3 percent dip in January. Ex-auto sales in February increased 1.0 percent, following boost of 0.4 percent the month before. On higher prices, gasoline sales spiked a monthly 5.0 percent in February, following a 0.7 percent increase the prior month. Gasoline sales were up significantly. Excluding both autos and gasoline components, sales gained 0.4 percent after increasing 0.3 percent in January. Core subcomponent strength was widely scattered. For the upcoming March numbers, cool weather may have dampened sales of spring apparel while an early Easter may have boosted sales. Also, consumers may be noticing reduced take home pay due to higher payroll taxes. Flat unit new motor vehicle sales could tip the auto component in either direction, depending on price discounting for the month.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/152/133/134/125/136/137/158/139/1310/2911/2012/12
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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