Mon, Nov 29, 2021 @ 11:53 GMT
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US: Mixed Retail Sales Report, but Core Spending Remains Steady

Spending at bars and restaurants has propelled broader retail sales in recent years, but a retrenchment here in September along with smaller outlays at gas stations weighed on the headline, resulting in a 0.1% pickup.

Auto Sales Helped

Prior to this morning’s release we already knew that September was a good month for manufacturer sales of autos to dealers. The annualized pace of wholesale auto sales hit 17.4 million, which tied March for the fastest clip in 2018.

Dealers were able to move inventory in September as well. Motor vehicle and parts sales jumped 0.8%. Perhaps not coincidentally, that too was the best month since March.

Core Spending Intact

Bars and restaurants have been outperforming broader retail sales recently. But after four straight monthly gains, this category saw a 1.8% decline. The softness here combined with a 0.8% dip at gas stations help explain the headline miss.

Excluding volatile categories like auto, gas and building materials, control group retail sales actually came in a little better than expected, up 0.5% in September.

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