Retail Sales Disappoint In September

The Census Department just published its
September stats on retail sales.

Headline sales declined by 0.1%, which was a bit worse than the 0.0% expected by economists.

Excluding autos and gas, sales climbed by just 0.4%, which was a bit worse than the 0.5% gain expected.

“The weakness in the headline retail sales figure is largely a function of the sharp drop in auto sales, which fell 5.1% mum to 15.4 million in August,” noted Bank of America Merrill Lynch ahead of the report. “Gas prices fell in September, but we expect overall gasoline station receipts to be up. “

“In retrospect it seems that the August results were exaggerated by a calendar shift that moved Labour Day weekend sales into the August reporting period this year,” said Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman.

“Electronics sales were probably helped significantly by the introduction of the new iPhone — adding 0.1-0.2 pct pt to retail sales growth,” said UBS’s Kevin Cummins on Friday.

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