2014 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 1/14/2014 8:30:00 AM For Dec, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.7 %0.4 %0.0 %-0.5 % to 0.3 %0.2 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.4 %0.1 %0.4 %0.0 % to 0.8 %0.7 %
Retails Sales - $ level432.310 $ billions
Retails Sales less auto - $ level349.023 $ billions
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.6 %0.3 %0.3 %0.1 % to 0.6 %0.6 %

Taking out autos and gasoline, consumer spending was actually strong in December. The latest retail sales report suggests a moderately healthy consumer sector-somewhat in contrast to the December employment report. Overall retail sales in December rose 0.2 percent, following a gain of 0.4 percent the month before. Analysts forecast no change for the overall December figure.

As expected, autos tugged down sharply on sales. Motor vehicle & parts dropped 1.8 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in November. Excluding autos, sales posted a 0.7 percent boost after a November rise of 0.1 percent. Gas station sales rebounded 1.6 percent, following a 1.5 percent decline the month before. Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales advanced a healthy 0.6 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent gain in November.

In the core, strength was seen in food & beverage stores, health & personal care, clothing, nonstore retailers, and food services & drinking places.

The December retail sales report points to a strong Q4 for GDP. The Fed will weigh these numbers against the employment report. With a likely healthy manufacturing component in industrial production (production worker hours up), the Fed likely will continue to taper.

Consensus Outlook
Retail sales in November jumped 0.7 percent, following a rise of 0.6 percent the month before. Autos were a big part of the November boost, gaining 1.8 percent after a 1.1 percent increase in October. Excluding autos, sales increased 0.4 percent after advancing 0.5 percent in October. But gasoline prices tugged down on this measure. Gas station sales dropped 1.1 percent in November, following a 0.4 percent decrease the month before. Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales jumped 0.6 percent in November, matching the October pace. In the core, strength was seen in furniture & home furnishings, electronics & appliance stores, building materials & garden equipment, nonstore retailers, and food services & drinking places.

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

2014 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/142/133/134/145/136/127/158/139/1210/1511/1412/11
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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