United States: Retail sales growth moderates in October
November 15, 2017
Retail sales expanded a moderate 0.2% from the previous month in October, well below the upwardly-revised 1.9% increase recorded in the previous month (previously reported: +1.6% year-on-year) but above market expectations of 0.1% growth. September’s robust increase—which largely reflected replacement sales following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma—and stronger-than-expected October sales point to resilient private consumption growth in Q4.
The headline figure reflected gains across most components, with some hurricane-related effects still evident in auto sales. Sales also picked up at clothing, sporting goods, furniture and electronic appliance stores. However, these increases were partially offset by a sharp reversal in building material sales, while sales at gasoline stations also declined markedly. The latter, however, largely reflected lower prices at the pump as the impact of refinery shutdowns ebbed.
In annual terms, growth in retail sales eased to 4.6% in October from a revised 4.8% rise in September (previously reported: +4.6% year-on-year). Annual average retail sales growth inched up to 4.3% in October from 4.2% in September, the highest print in over two years.
Author: David Ampudia, Economist