Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Retail Sales
Nominal retail sales jumped up 1.1 percent (nonannualized) in September, following an upwardly revised 1.2 percent increase in August. This is its strongest two-month performance since November 2010. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales are up 5.4 percent. While August’s sales were largely due to rising gasoline prices and a jump up in auto sales, September’s increase reflected broad-based strength. Gains were seen across nearly all of the 13 broad sales categories except at miscellaneous store retailers (which saw sales slip down just 0.1 percent). Sales at electronics and appliance stores jumped up 4.5 percent in September, more than reversing a 1.1 percent decrease in August, and helping to pull its year-over-year growth rate up to 3.6 percent from −2.2 percent in August. There was still a little boost from sales at gasoline stations—up 2.5 percent in September—that was likely an artifact of sustained increases in gas prices. That said, sales were strong at auto dealers (up 1.3 percent), non-store retailers (up 1.8 percent), and food and beverage stores (up 1.2 percent). “Core” retail sales—which excludes sales at gasoline stations, auto dealers and of building materials—rose 0.9 percent in September, after August’s estimate was revised up from −0.1 percent to flat. As a tentative sign of momentum, the three-month annualized growth rate in core sales is up 7.5 percent, outpacing its 12-month growth rate of 4.4 percent.