2013 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 9/13/2013 8:30:00 AM For Aug, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.2 %0.4 %0.5 %0.2 % to 0.7 %0.2 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.5 %0.6 %0.3 %0.1 % to 0.7 %0.1 %
Retails Sales - $ level424.481 $ billions
Retails Sales less auto - $ level343.682 $ billions
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.4 %0.6 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.6 %0.1 %

The consumer took a breather in August after lots of shopping in July. Retail sales increased 0.2 percent in August after a 0.4 percent gain the month before (previously up 0.2 percent). Market expectations were for a 0.5 percent boost. Autos jumped 0.9 after a 0.5 percent dip in July. Retail sales excluding autos edged up 0.1 percent, following a 0.6 percent rise the month before. The latest number came in lower than analysts' estimate for a 0.3 percent increase. Gasoline sales were flat, following a 0.7 percent spike in July. Excluding autos and gasoline components, sales nudged up 0.1 percent, following a 0.6 percent boost in July. Expectations were for a 0.3 percent advance.

Within the core, the numbers were mixed. On the strong side were furniture & home furnishing (likely due to recent gains in home sales), electronics & appliances (possible boost from back to school) and miscellaneous store retailers. On the downside were building materials & garden equipment (but followed a robust July), clothing & accessories, and sporting goods & hobbies.

For August, sales strength clearly was in motor vehicle sales. Outside of autos, components were mixed but net flat. However, August followed a robust July and some deceleration probably should be expected.

Consensus Outlook
Retail sales improved in July even after discounting for the impact of higher gasoline prices for the month. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in July after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent. As expected, autos were weak with a 1.0 decline after a 2.9 percent boost in June. The level of motor vehicle sales was still healthy. Retail sales excluding autos rose 0.5 percent after a 0.1 percent rise in June. Gasoline sales were up a significant 0.9 percent, following a 0.6 percent rise in June. The core showed solid improvement after a questionable June. Excluding both autos and gasoline components, sales gained 0.4 percent after no change in June. More recently, unit new motor vehicle sales in August were up 1.8 percent, suggesting a notable gain in the auto component of retail sales.

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

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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