2014 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 9/12/2014 8:30:00 AM For Aug, 2014
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.0 %0.3 %0.6 %0.2 % to 1.0 %0.6 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.1 %0.3 %0.3 %0.1 % to 0.5 %0.3 %
Retails Sales - $ level439.802 $ billions
Retails Sales less auto - $ level352.162 $ billions
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.1 %0.3 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.6 %0.5 %

Highlights
The consumer sector appears to be stronger than indicated by employment data. The consumer is out spending. Retail sales jumped 0.6 percent in August after a rise of 0.3 percent the month before. Analysts projected 0.6 percent for August. The July upward revision was significant-previous estimate of zero.

Excluding autos, sales gained 0.3 percent in both August and July, matching expectations. Excluding both autos and gasoline sales were quite healthy, increasing 0.5 percent, following a rise of 0.3 percent in July. Expectations were for 0.4 percent.

By detail, not surprisingly, motor vehicles increased 1.5 percent. Next, building materials & garden equipment gained 1.4 percent-suggesting some improvement in housing. Food services & drinking places sales were up 0.6 percent, showing healthy improvement in discretionary spending. This is a good sign for the consumer sector.

Weakness was led by a 0.8 percent decline in gasoline sales. Also, general merchandise dipped 0.1 percent.

Overall, August retail sales were healthy and point to moderately strong third quarter GDP growth. Economic news has oscillated in recent months but consumer spending may be suggesting that the economy is stronger than suggested by labor market numbers.


Consensus Outlook
Retail sales disappointed for a second month in a row. Retail sales were flat in July, following a 0.2 percent gain the month before. Motor vehicles slipped 0.2 percent, following a decrease of 0.3 percent in June. Excluding motor vehicles, sales edged up 0.1 percent, following an increase of 0.4 percent in June. Excluding motor vehicles and gasoline, sales nudged up 0.1 percent in July after jumping 0.6 percent the prior 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
 
 

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