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October 29, 2013

A Bunch of Rather Flat Data.

October 29, 2013

A Bunch of Rather Flat Data.

ICSC-Goldman Store Sales  (week ended 10/26/13)

– Store Sales week/week -0.4%.  Previous was +1.4%

– Store Sales month/month +2.2%. Previous was +3.4%

Redbook Store Sales  (week ended 10/26/13)

– Store Sales month/month +3.6%.  Previous was +2.9%.

Retail Sales (September 2013)

– Retail Sales month/month -0.1%. Previous was +0.2%

– Retail Sales less autos  month/month  +0.4%. Previous was +0.1%

– Less Autos & Gas  month/month +0.4%. Previous was +0.1%.

The +0.4% gain in core Retail Sales is positive. The Store Sales reports are disappointing.

Producer Price Index

– PPI Month/Month -0.1%. Previous was +0.3%

– PPI Year/Year +0.3%.

– PPI less food & energy Month/Month +0.1%. Previous was +0.0%

– PPI less food & energy Year/Year  +1.2%.

Inflation is well contained.  In fact, I would expect that we will start to hear from the Fed that a little bit more inflation may be acceptable or even desired. Since higher inflation would appear to be an inevitable consequence of their policy of expanded monetary base.  The Fed is supposed to have the dual mission of keeping the economy growing while keeping inflation contained.  The economy is not growing fast with GDP growth too low and unemployment too high.  Watch for stories as to why a little bit more inflation may be the right medicine.  I am not saying that a little bit of inflation may in fact be good.  I am saying that such a stance from the Fed at this time is more an admission than a policy.

S&P Case-Shiller HPI  (August 2013)

– 20-city, Seasonally Adjusted month/month +0.9%. Previous was +0.6%

– 20-city, not Seasonally Adjusted  month/month  +1.3%. Previous was +1.8%

– 20-city, not Seasonally Adjusted Year/Year  +12.8%. Previous was +12.3.

This data shows home prices increasing faster but keep in mind that yesterday’s Pending Home Sales data was weak.  Increasing home prices take away from discretionary spending.

Business Inventories (August 2013)

– Inventories Month/Month 0.3%. Previous was +0.4%.

This is important because it is a GDP component.

Consumer Confidence (October 2103)

– Consumer Confidence 71.2, Previous was 80.2.

This is the index from the Conference Board and is supposed to measure predisposition to spend.  The government shutdown obviously hurt Consumer Confidence.