2018 Economic Calendar
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Retail Sales  
Released On 9/14/2018 8:30:00 AM For Aug, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Retail Sales - M/M change0.5 %0.7 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.5 %0.1 %
Retail Sales less autos - M/M change0.6 %0.9 %0.5 %0.3 % to 0.7 %0.3 %
Less Autos & Gas - M/M Change0.6 %0.9 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.5 %0.2 %
Control Group – M/M change0.5 %0.8 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.7 %0.1 %

An upward revision to a very strong July offsets an unexpectedly flat August to make for a solid pace so far in third-quarter consumer spending. Retail sales inched only 0.1 percent ahead in August to come in below Econoday's consensus range. The plus in the report is a 2 tenths upward revision to July which now stands at a 0.7 percent gain.

Weakness in August is tied to motor vehicles where sales fell 0.8 percent following 0.1 percent declines in the prior two months in what is a very poor run for the auto industry. Apparel stores have been up and down and were very down in August at a 1.7 percent decline. Department stores have also been up and down and were also down in August, falling 1.0 percent. Sales at furniture stores have been soft, sinking 0.3 percent in the month, as have sales of building materials in what together are more negative indications for residential investment.

Positives include another strong gain for nonstore retailers, up 0.7 percent as e-commerce continues to muscle out gains. Sales at gas stations, reflecting higher pump prices and also strong driving demand, rose 1.7 percent. Restaurants, which have been very strong, pulled out another monthly gain though a small one at 0.2 percent.

August was a soft month but looking at year-on-year rates helps confirm underlying strength. Total retail sales rose 6.6 percent in August, little changed from July's 6.7 percent. And leading the sector are nonstore retailers at 10.4 percent followed by an outstanding showing for restaurants, at 10.1 percent in a gain that underscores the fundamental health and spirit of the consumer.

Consensus Outlook
Another solid month for retail sales is the expectation for August where the consensus is calling for a 0.4 percent gain vs 0.5 percent in July. Excluding autos, a gain of 0.5 percent is the call with ex-auto ex-gas at a consensus 0.4 percent and control group sales also at 0.4 percent.

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

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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