Retail sales whiff

Retail sales rose 0.1% in September, according to the Census Bureau.

But excluding the volatile auto and gas components, “core” retail sales were flat month-on-month.

Lower gasoline prices impacted gas station sales, which fell 3.2% from August, the highest for any kind of business. Compared to last September, sales were down 19.7%.

Economists had estimated that retail sales rose 0.2% during the month, unchanged from August. Excluding autos and gas, they estimated that sales fell 0.1%.

In an email to clients after the release, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson noted that the strong dollar is weighing down the prices of imported goods, particularly clothes and electronics.

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