The number: Retail sales growth came in at 0.4% (vs. 0.3% expected) and excluding autos, sales came in at 0.6%, way better than 0.3% expected.
Markets aren’t moving that hard on the news, but they have gone into positive territory.
If there’s not a huge move, it may be that the good reports from individual retailers caused some of this to be priced in.
Background: This is a pretty crucial release, and a strong number would definitely help emphasise the modest “recovery” that’s been showing up in the data.
Analysts are looking for August retail sales growth of 0.3%, and retail sales ex-auto also at 0.3%.
Generally speaking, the August numbers from individual retailers was decent.