Economic Notes for the Week of November 19th

It was a busy week as far as economic releases were concerned.  Expect many of the individual numbers to be affected at least to some degree by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

Retail sales fell -0.3% for the week, which ended up being a shade weaker than the consensus drop of -0.2%.  Much of the expected decline was a direct result of the Sandy aftermath, which is a drag for obvious reasons, as well as some payback from strong weeks previous that were spurred by iPhone 5 sales.  There were some data reporting disruptions as well, which is also expected and may take time to sort out due to continued difficulty in getting infrastructure back up and running back East.

Industrial production fell -0.4% in October as well, relative to a forecasted gain of +0.2%—again, the storm was at the heart of the decline.  Manufacturing production also fell -0.9%.  While the exact impact is hard to estimate, the FEMA and Fed estimates point to Sandy holding back production by roughly a percentage point—enough to take us from growth to decline in literal terms (especially in utilities and transportation equipment).  Read more