Tuesday, November 16, 2010

US October Retail Sales

Retail sales were stronger that expected in October, rising a seasonally adjusted 1.2% over the month. The stronger than expected result was driven by a large increase in automotive sales of 5% over the month. This seems a tad strong - indeed there is some suggestion that given the end of the "cash for clunkers" program exactly a year ago, the seasonal adjustment process may be a tad unreliable. Seems like a reasonable assertion to me. Stripping out the automotive component, sales were up 0.4% in the month. That is more on line with our expectation of continued subdued spending from the household sector for some time to come.