What I Saw Last Week
October U.S. Retail Sales were weaker than I had anticipated and rose by a paltry 0.1%. (I had forecast a rise of 0.3%.) Core sales (which exclude car sales) were also weak and expanded by just 0.2% – I had forecast a rise of 0.4%. Results for September were also revised lower with total sales unchanged (from 0.1%) and sales excluding autos revised to -0.4% (from -0.3%).
The modest increase in retail sales followed a robust 0.6% increase in aggregate earnings which I had expected would have provide greater impetus for shoppers to head out to the stores, but this was clearly not the case. What it tells me is that consumers continue to show a propensity to save money and/or pay down debt versus spending it more liberally on goods.
Consumer Sentiment in early November rose to 93.1 from a final reading of 90.0…
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