United States: Retail sales pick up in October
November 20, 2013
In October, retail sales increased 0.4% over the previous month in nominal terms. The decrease contrasted the flat reading recorded in September (previously reported: -0.1% month-on-month) and was above market expectations of no change. Ten of the thirteen categories that make up the retail index expanded over the previous month, with electronics and appliance stores, as well as clothing stores, showing the strongest gains. Those stores' improvements were partially offset by decreased sales at building material and supplies outlets and at gasoline stations.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas - a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index - increased 0.3% over the previous month. The reading matched both September's result (previously reported: +0.4% mom) and market expectations.
Retail sales rose 3.9% compared to the same month last year. This figure was above the revised 3.4% increase recorded in September (previously reported: +3.2% year-on-year). The annual trend sloped downward, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 4.5% in September to 4.4% in October.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to grow 2.0% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.6%, which is also unchanged from last month's forecast.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist