Retail sales in August were a bit softer than expected, according to the advance estimate from the Census Bureau.
Retail sales rose 0.2% month-on-month (0.6% prior), and 0.1% excluding autos and gas.
The retail sales control group was 0.4%, ahead of expectations for 0.3%. This print, which feeds into Gross Domestic Product, was also revised higher for July to 0.6% from 0.3%.
Economists had estimated that retail sales climbed 0.3% month-on-month (0.6% prior), and 0.4% excluding autos and gas.
Sales at gas stations fell 1.8%, the highest for any category. Wells Fargo’s John Silvia had forecast that this was likely because of falling gas prices.
Building material retailers also saw sales drop 1.8%.
In a note to clients after the data, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson wrote, “On the face of it, sales growth has slowed this year – this is the sixth undershoot against consensus since the Jan report – but the softening is due entirely to falling prices, thanks to the strong dollar.”
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