United States: Retail sales contract in September
October 29, 2013
In September, retail sales fell 0.1% over the previous month in nominal terms. The reading contrasted the 0.2% increase recorded in August and was below market expectations of a flat reading. Ten out of the thirteen categories that make up the retail index expanded over the previous month, with grocery stores and food services showing the strongest gains. These gains were offset by decreased sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as at clothing stores.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas - a closely watched subcategory within the retail trade index - increased 0.4% over the previous month. The reading was above the 0.1% growth in August and slightly beat market expectations of a 0.3% rise.
Retail sales rose 3.2% compared to the same month last year. This figure was below the revised 4.6% increase recorded in August (previously reported: +4.7% year-on-year). The annual trend dropped, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 4.7% in August to 4.5% in September.
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