Did Today's Retail Sales Whiff Contain A Big Warning About The Housing Market?

Retail sales missed expectations today, as top-line sales came in at just 0.4% growth, vs. 0.8% expected.

Nomura finds one ominous nugget:

Building material sales were a major drag on overall sales, as they declined by 2.2% in June. This could be a result of the recent run-up in mortgage rates, but we have to wait for more housing data to conclude that this is actually the case. Housing starts and building permits data for June will be released on Wednesday. Note that the building materials category reflects home improvement items, and given that distressed sales have declined recently, demand for home improvement items could have fallen off leading to the drop in the building materials category. Sales of miscellaneous items (such as office supplies, stationeries, gifts, used merchandise), and retail sales at eating and drinking places also declined in June.

 

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