Friday, September 13, 2013

Retail sales un-stagnate

- by New Deal democrat

Last weekend I re-read the 2013 outlook I posted in two parts back in January. That boiled down to (1) almost complete stagnation in the first half (2) followed by a rebound in the second. An astute commenter asked me last weekend if the rebound in some of the Weekly Indicators heralded that rebound. I think it does, and this morning's retail sales report for August (and especially the upward revision to July) adds some incremental evidence to that hypothesis.

Since consumer inflation was +0.2% in July, the revision means that real retail sales increased +0.2% in that month. August inflation was probably +0.1% +/-0.1%, so most likely real retail sales ticked up in August as well. Here's an updated graph of real retail sales through July:

At the moment it looks like Washington will manage to avoid Debt Ceiling Debacle part Deux, and if that happens I see no reason why we won't have continued expansion through the rest of this year.