Today's Economic Data Highlights
Retail sales will probably provide the most important information in a day that also includes reports on small business sentiment, producer prices, business inventories, consumer confidence, and the final FOMC meeting of the year….There is no POMO today.
7:30: NFIB small business optimism index for Nov…back up? This index has shown renewed life in recent months. In October, it rose to 91.7, close to the 92.2 level that currently stands as the best since the recovery got underway in mid-2009. Three of the six economists who forecast this index expect it to eclipse this level in November. The index came in at 93.2 as small business are confident they will be able to subsist on part-time worker hires in perpetuity.
8:30: Retail sales for Nov…another sturdy gain. November appears to have been another good month for retail sales judging from retailers’ reports. We look for an increase of about ½% in the core component (ex vehicles, building materials, and gasoline). Vehicle sales were unchanged on the month, but increases in gasoline prices provide an offset in nominal terms.
On total sales, median forecast (of 77): +0.6%, ranging from +0.1% to +1.3%; last: +1.2%;
On sales ex autos, median forecast (of 71): +0.6%, ranging from +0.2% to +1.5%; last +0.4%.
8:30: Producer price index for Nov…more energy on top of a core pay-back? Our estimate of a 0.4% increase in the core (ex food and energy) index reflects an assumption that vehicle prices will bounce back after having pulled the core index down even more sharply last month. Underneath this, we do not expect significant price pressure in the core components. The headline index includes another month of seasonally strong gasoline prices.
On headline, median forecast (of 76): +0.6%, ranging from +0.2% to +1.2%; last +0.4%.
On core, median forecast (of 73): +0.2%, ranging from -0.1% to +0.8%, last -0.6%.
10:00: Business inventories for Oct…another significant increase? The median forecast implies a 0.3% increase in retail inventories given the increases already reported for manufacturing (+0.9%) and wholesale (+1.9%). This would be the smallest increase in six months for that component. Risks lie to the side of a larger increase.
Median forecast (of 41): +1.0%, ranging from +0.1% to +1.5%; last +0.9%.
14:15: FOMC statement…no major changes. The statement following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday is likely to be the least interesting of the year. We expect only a very modest “lean” in the direction of better data. Kansas City Fed President Hoenig will probably cast his eighth consecutive dissent against the current policy stance. As discussed more fully in last night’s daily comment, the first couple of FOMC meetings of 2011 look likely to be similarly uneventful, with the main question the number of dissents in favor of a tighter policy stance (we expect one or two). See https://portal.gs.com/gs/portal/home/fdh/?st=1&d=10183449.
17:00: ABC consumer comfort index…It’s been stuck between -47 and -45 since mid-September, last at -45.
Compiled using Goldman data