Today’s data was generally positive across the board. Retail sales came in at a robust 2.7% and 1.1% ex-autos. Both figures were better than expected, but still weak on a yearly basis. The year over year figures are -5.3% and -6.2% ex-autos. This morning’s figures were surprisingly strong outside of autos. Econoday reports:
Components outside of autos and gasoline were unexpectedly healthy other than housing or construction related components. Consumers apparently are a little more optimistic about the economy as they boosted sales in a variety of categories, including general merchandise, up 1.6 percent for August; electronics & appliances, up 1.1 percent; and food & beverage stores, up 0.5 percent. The key laggards were furniture & home furnishings, down 1.6 percent, and building materials & garden equipment & supplies, down 1.2 percent.
In other retail news the ICSC reported a 0% move in weekly sales and a 1.6% jump in year over year sales. Redbook retail sales data continues to come in very weak at -1.9% although these figures are substantially better than the consistent -4% readings we’ve been seeing.
PPI was also released today. Prices jumped 1.7% in August, but were primarily due to a 23% spike in gasoline prices during the month. The year over year figure was -4.3%.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey continues to show a recovery in the manufacturing sector. Econoday reports:
Indications are building that the manufacturing sector, having stabilized at a new base line, is now turning higher. Led by new orders, the Empire State index rose nearly 7 points in September to 18.88. New orders nearly rose 6-1/2 points to 19.84 pointing to increasing activity in the months ahead.
All in all pretty solid data if you’re a stock market bull.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.