Retail sales came in as expected. Sales rose 0.6% month-over-month in September, according to the Commerce Department. That’s right in line with economists’ expectations, and above last month’s 0.3% dip.Excluding auto and gas sales, which can be volatile on a monthly basis, so-called core retail sales rose 0.3%. Meanwhile, the retail sales control group, which excludes volatile items like cars, gas, food, and building materials and feeds directly into the government’s calculation of gross domestic product, rose 0.1% (0.4% forecast). “On the surface, the modest core print indicates a weak recovery following the declines recorded in the prior two months,” noted Brittany Baumann, macro strategist at TD Securities in commentary. “However, the details of the report are more positive, with weakness seen in only a few components and relatively strong increases broadly based elsewhere.” “So, people are eating out (0.8%), renovating their homes (1.4%), and buying cars (1.1%) – two months before the election. Yup, lots of election related uncertainty delaying discretionary spending,” noted Neil Dutta of Renaissance Macro in commentary after the report.
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