by Mish

More importantly, the Census Bureau revised July from plus 0.6% to plus 0.3%. On top of that, the census bureau revised June from +0.3 to -0.1!

Bloomberg Econoday attempted to whitewash this mess, blaming it all on Hurricane Harvey.

Excuse me for asking but did economists not know there was a hurricane?

Soft is the assessment for the latest retail sales report which shows early Hurricane effects for some components and also downward revisions to prior months. Headline sales fell 0.2 percent which is near Econoday’s low estimate with ex-auto sales up 0.2 percent and just below the low estimate. The Commerce Department could not isolate the impact of Hurricane Harvey’s late month hit on Houston but weakness in auto sales, which fell 1.6 percent, and strength at gasoline stations, up 2.5 percent on higher prices, do hint at such an impact.
There are not many signs of fundamental strength in August though restaurants did rise 0.3 percent with furniture up 0.4 percent and general merchandise making the plus column at 0.2 percent. Otherwise, give back is apparent in nonstore retailers, which have been very strong but fell 1.1 percent in August, and also building materials, down 0.5 percent after two sharp prior gains. Apparel is also weak, down 1.0 percent but again following solid gains.
Turning back to revisions, they also include a 4 tenths downgrade to June’s headline from a 0.3 percent gain to a 0.1 percent decline. But core readings show less revision with ex-auto ex-gas unrevised for July though revised lower for June, down 4 tenths to minus 0.1 percent, and with control group sales also unrevised in July but revised down 3 tenths in June to a 0.1 percent gain. Nevertheless, the ex-auto ex-gas reading for August, at minus 0.1 percent, is telling as it excludes the two components that are most likely to take initial hits from the hurricanes.
This report scales back what had been an accelerating pivot higher for consumer spending which nevertheless remains on course as a contributor to third-quarter GDP. Yet the effects of Harvey, and also of course Hurricane Irma, still have to play out making September’s consumer spending results a difficult call.


Reflections on “Bizarre” Sales

Last month I commented “Supposedly, motor vehicle sales were 1.2% in July following a 0.9% gain in June. This is unbelievably bizarre in the face of actual auto sales reports.”

Today, we found out just how “bizarre”.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline, Revisions Even Worse

There are several economic reports out today, none of them any good, especially retail sales, the most important of the reports.

Retail Sales Unexpectedly Dive: Spotlight on Cars and the “Amazon Effect”

Retail sales rose a mere 0.1% in November according to the Census Department Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report.

Retail Sales Jump 0.5% in July, June Revised Lower

July retail sales come in well above expectations even accounting for the downward revision in June from 0.4% to 0.2%.

Strong Retail Sales Report Counting Upward Revisions

The May retail sales number missed expectations slightly but the Census Bureau upgraded April from -0.2% to +0.3%.

New Home Sales Bounce 7% in June from Hugely Negative Revisions

New home sales rose 7% but the total fell far short of expectations because of revisions.

Retail Sales Unexpectedly Sink 2nd Month: Supposedly Car Sales Rise 3rd Month

The consumer has all but thrown in the towel as retail sales unexpectedly declined for the second month.

Retail Sales Bounce: Upward Revisions Explain Strength in 2nd Quarter GDP

The Keynesian economists and the monetarists at the Fed are singing a happy tune today as retail sales bounced 0.6 percent vs the Econoday consensus estimate of 0.3%.

Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Decline to 2017 Lows

On the heels of an unexpected decline in new home sales yesterday, comes news of an unexpected decline in existing home sales today.

Retail Sales Rise 0.1% in February, January Revised

Retail sales rose the Econoday consensus of 0.1% in February, a weak reading. However, January was revised from a solid 0.4% to a strong 0.6%.