Nov revised down .3%
Chart doesn’t yet indicate acceleration.
Take out autos and gasoline, and consumer spending was actually strong in December. The latest retail sales report suggests a moderately healthy consumer sector-somewhat in contrast to the December employment report. Overall retail sales in December rose 0..2 percent, following an upwardly revised gain of 0.7 percent the month before (originally up 0.4 percent). Analysts forecast no change for the overall December figure.
As expected, autos tugged down sharply on sales. Motor vehicle & parts dropped 1.8 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in November. Excluding autos, sales posted a 0.7 percent boost after a November rise of 0.1 percent. Gas station sales rebounded 1.6 percent, following a 1.5 percent decline the month before. Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales advanced a healthy 0.6 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent gain in November.
In the core, strength was seen in food & beverage stores, health & personal care, clothing, nonstore retailers, and food services & drinking places.
The December retail sales report points to a strong Q4 for GDP. The Fed will weigh these numbers against the employment report. With a likely healthy manufacturing component in industrial production (production worker hours up), the Fed likely will continue to taper.
Market Consensus before announcement
Retail sales in November jumped 0.7 percent, following a rise of 0.6 percent the month before. Autos were a big part of the November boost, gaining 1.8 percent after a 1.1 percent increase in October. Excluding autos, sales increased 0.4 percent after advancing 0.5 percent in October. But gasoline prices tugged down on this measure. Gas station sales dropped 1.1 percent in November, following a 0.4 percent decrease the month before. Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales jumped 0.6 percent in November, matching the October pace. In the core, strength was seen in furniture & home furnishings, electronics & appliance stores, building materials & garden equipment, nonstore retailers, and food services & drinking places.