Economic Notes for the Week of December 19th

Retail Sales numbers were positive at +0.2% month-over-month, but slightly below results for the past two months and a bit below consensus.  The strongest portions of the report were electronics sales and ‘non-store’ retailers, which includes online purchases.  Additionally, sales numbers for prior months were revised upward.

Overall, retail numbers have been a potentially positive contributor to the fourth quarter’s GDP number—which could be surprisingly strong according to current estimates.  The Holiday shopping season specifically has looked to be a strong one.  Perhaps not one of the best ever by any means, but decent, according to preliminary data as well as our own anecdotal (albeit limited) mall experiences of the season. Read more