2015 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 6/11/2015 8:30:00 AM For May, 2015
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.0 %0.2 %1.3 %0.5 % to 1.8 %1.2 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.1 %0.1 %0.8 %0.5 % to 1.3 %1.0 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.2 %0.2 %0.5 %0.2 % to 0.6 %0.7 %

Highlights
The consumer showed a lot of life in May, driving up retail sales 1.2 percent with gains sweeping nearly all components. A leading component in the month was motor vehicle sales which jumped 2.0 percent, excluding which retail sales still rose a very strong 1.0 percent. Another component showing special strength was gasoline sales which got a boost from higher prices. Still, excluding both of these components, retail sales ex-auto ex-gas gained a very solid 0.7 percent. These results offset weakness in April, when total sales rose only 0.2 percent (upward revised from no change).

In contrast to weakness through most of the April report, there's only one component showing contraction in May and that's the usually solid health & personal care stores at minus 0.3 percent. Standouts on the plus side, apart from vehicles and gasoline, are building materials & garden equipment stores, up 2.1 percent, clothing & accessories stores, up 1.5 percent, and nonstore retailers, up 1.4 percent. Department stores, which sank a steep 2.9 percent in April, rebounded with a 0.8 percent gain.

The long awaited rebound from the soft first quarter is finally here. Today's results will have forecasters upping their estimates for second-quarter GDP. These results will also be a key point of discussion, especially in arguments by the hawks, at next week's FOMC meeting.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Retail sales have been very disappointing with the report in April sending forecasters back to downgrade their second-quarter GDP estimates. But the May report looks to get a major lift from what was a surge in vehicle sales during the month. Total sales are expected to rise 1.3 percent but with less strength in the ex-auto reading, at plus 0.8 percent. The core ex-auto ex-gas reading, coming off a small gain in April, is seen climbing a respectable 0.5 percent.

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
 
 

2015 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/142/123/124/145/136/117/148/139/1510/1411/1312/11
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