Preview: August US Retail Sales Data on Tuesday

The US will report August retail sales data tomorrow. The consensus is for a 0.3% rise on both the headline and excluding autos. We already know that auto sales were soft and ICSC chain store sales were ok (3.2% vs 2.8% year-over-year). However, a consensus number will likely be seen as further confirmation that that exceptionally soft patch the economy had slipped into (May and June retail sales contracted) has eased.

The average monthly change in retail sales is -0.37%. The 0.3% rise the consensus expects is in line with the 6-month average (+0.27%)and a marginally below the 12-month average (+0.41%). Excluding autos, the 0.4% the consensus expects, would be slightly above both the 6 and 12 month averages (~0.33%).

While the market often focuses on the headline report or the sales excluding autos, economists will focus on the report excluding autos, gasoline and building materials. This is the component used for GDP calculations. The third quarter got off to a soft start with a a 0.1% decline in Q3. Watch for potential revisions to this data. The August figure may come in around +0.3%.
Preview: August US Retail Sales Data on Tuesday Preview:  August US Retail Sales Data on Tuesday Reviewed by Marc Chandler on September 13, 2010 Rating: 5
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