2018 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 6/14/2018 8:30:00 AM For May, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.3 %0.4 %0.4 %0.1 % to 0.6 %0.8 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.3 %0.4 %0.5 %0.3 % to 0.7 %0.9 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.3 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.5 %0.8 %
Control Group – M/M change0.4 %0.6 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.5 %0.5 %

Highlights
The FOMC said yesterday that household spending has picked up and indeed it has. Retail sales jumped 0.8 percent in May which easily tops Econoday's high estimate. And the results include an upward revision to April which now stands at a 0.4 percent gain.

The report shows balanced gains including a 1.3 percent jump at restaurants and a 0.5 percent increase for motor vehicles, both pointing to rising discretionary demand. Building materials, which have been soft, surged 2.4 percent in what will be a plus for residential investment. Department stores have been very weak but have now put together back-to-back gains of 1.5 percent in May and 0.7 percent in April. Clothing stores, at 1.3 and 1.2 percent, have likewise bounced back with sizable gains the last two months. Gasoline sales have risen 2.0 and 1.0 percent in May and April on higher prices. Disappointments include a decline for furniture in May and only a 0.1 percent rise for nonstore retailers (e-commerce).

It was only a few weeks ago that the Fed's Beige Book had downgraded consumer spending to "soft" which highlights the importance of today's report, one that, as far as the Fed at least, marks a pivot upward. Consumer spending so far this year has been mixed but given the strength of the jobs market, improvement should be no surprise.

Consensus Outlook
Despite a wide consensus range, strength for retail sales is the call, at a consensus gain of 0.4 percent in May with ex-auto, given slight weakness in the month's unit auto sales, showing even more strength at 0.5 percent. Ex-auto ex-gas sales are seen at a 0.4 percent gain with control group sales, which also exclude food services and building materials, also expected to rise 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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/122/143/144/165/156/147/168/159/1410/1511/1512/14
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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