RETAIL SALES GROWTH QUADRUPLES EXPECTATIONS

Advance October U.S. retail sales data are out.

Total sales rose 0.4% in October, better than consensus estimates for a 0.1% advance. September’s figure was revised to 0.0% from -0.1%.

Excluding autos, sales rose 0.2%, better than the 0.1% consensus estimate. September’s number was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%.

Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales rose 0.3%, also better than the 0.2% consensus estimate. September’s number was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%.

The retail sales control group number, which feeds into GDP calculations, rose 0.4%, better than the 0.3% consensus estimate. September’s number was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%.

“The stronger retail sales figure was driven by solid performance of furniture (1.0%) and electronics (1.4%) sales during the month,” says Gennadiy Goldberg, a strategist at TD Securities. “Clothing sales and eating & drinking also rose 1.4% and 1.0%, respectively. We believe the stronger performance of these categories may have been a factor of consumers using the savings from lower gasoline prices to finance additional purchases or of retailers clearing inventories. If the former is true, with gasoline prices likely to remain contained in the near-term, we may see stronger consumption trends persist over the next few months, helping to lessen the anticipated impact of the government shutdown on Q4 growth expectations.”

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