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THOUGHTS ON THIS MORNING’S DATA

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.

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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.

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