2017 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 2/15/2017 8:30:00 AM For Jan, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.6 %1.0 %0.1 %-0.2 % to 0.3 %0.4 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.2 %0.4 %0.5 %0.3 % to 0.7 %0.8 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.0 %0.1 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.7 %
Control Group – M/M change0.4 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.4 %

Highlights
Consumer spending data have been surprisingly moderate given the unusual strength in consumer confidence, but today's retail sales report, which includes an important revision, now moves spending more in line with confidence. Retail sales rose 0.4 percent in January which tops Econoday's very modest 0.1 percent consensus and the top estimate of 0.3 percent. Importantly December, which is the most important retail month, is now revised a sharp 4 tenths higher to a very strong plus 1.0 percent.

Vehicles were the special strength of the December report, at a revised plus 3.2 percent vs an initial 2.4 percent, and in a give back are really the only weakness in the January report at minus 1.4 percent. Excluding vehicles, retail sales jumped a very sharp 0.8 percent in January which again beats the top forecast. Ex-auto for December is also part of the good news, revised 2 tenths higher to 0.4 percent.

Electronics & appliance stores show a big January gain at 1.6 percent with restaurants at 1.4 percent and department stores up 1.2 percent. Sporting goods, clothing, health & personal care and building materials all show gains.

But gasoline, where prices are up, have been adding to the gains the past two months and excluding which sales in January show a less impressive gain of only 0.2 percent. This reading for December, however, is a much more impressive plus 0.8 percent.

But gasoline only dims the strength of the report for January which, next to February, is the slowest month on the retail calendar. Today's data point to momentum for consumer spending, which is by far the economy's most important sector.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Auto sales were the great standout of the December retail sales report with forecasters seeing a shift in January to non-auto sales. Unit sales of autos in January couldn't match December's pace which points to headline weakness for retail sales where forecasters are calling for only a 0.1 percent gain. But when excluding autos, the consensus is calling for a sizable 0.5 percent increase. Ex-auto ex-gas sales are expected to rise a respectable 0.3 percent with the control group up a solid 0.4 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
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/132/153/154/145/126/147/148/159/1510/1311/1512/14
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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