US August advance retail sales +0.4% vs +0.2% expected

Author: Adam Button | Category: News

Retail sales for August 2019:

  • Prior was +0.7% (revised to +0.8%)
  • Ex autos 0.0% vs +0.1% expected
  • Prior ex autos 1.0%
  • Ex autos and gas +0.1% vs +0.2%
  • Prior ex autos and gas +0.9%
  • Control group +0.3% vs +0.3% expected
  • Prior control group +1.0% (revised to +0.9%)
The headline is on the strong side and the prior was revised higher as well. Digging into the control group, that was in-line with estimates and the prior was revised a tick lower. Building material sales rose 1.4%.

Overall, the consumer remains very strong and that is going to give the Fed some pause. A cut next week is a done deal but there's a very good case for Powell to push back against an October cut.

A look at the control group with the 6-month moving average shows how surprising it is that the Fed is cutting.
retail sales control group
Bespoke notes: "Control group retail sales (which is the feed for PCE spending estimates at BEA) was up at a 7.9% annualized pace in Q2. With two months of data, it's tracking a 7.1% pace in Q3 or 7.5% annualized on a two-quarter pace. That's just insanely strong."
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