Retail Sales for January, at +0.4% month-over-month, were a bit lower than expected due to a drop in auto sales (although fleet sales may have had something to do with this). With autos removed from the measure, the figure rose to +0.7%, which ended up being a bit higher than expected. The individual results were mixed, as sales were up for sporting goods, electronics and department stores, but declined for non-store retail and online.
Business inventories were up +0.4% for January, roughly in line with consensus and on the same trend as the previous month. The non-auto retail number was below the government’s estimate and may result in a lower 4th Quarter GDP adjustment. Read more