Modest Retail Sales Miss Means Taper On Deck, Furniture Sales Slide
While today's retail sales headline data was the second miss in a row (the "longest stretch" of misses going back to January 2012), printing at 0.2% on expectations of 0.3% (with last month's 0.4% miss revised to 0.6%), the internal data was modestly better, printing at 0.5% ex autos (exp. 0.4%), and in line ex autos and gas which came right on top of the expected 0.4% increase. So overall, a wash report, and one which doesn't tip the scales in either direction. Since this was the most important August report left ahead of September, any hopes the Fed's taper would be delayed based on this data point can now be dashed.
And yet, there was some other data inside the retail sales report which showed that the real weakness for the economy, that focusing on the marginal provider of "net worth" housing may be tapering, with sales at both Furniture and Home Furnishing Store Sales and Building Material and Garden Equipment suppliers declining by -1.4% and by -0.4%, further confirming that the second housing bubble has not only peaked by but going forward will be deflating ever faster.
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