Today's Economic Data Docket - Retail Sales, Bond Auction/Monetization, JOLTS, Beige Book, And Obama's Deficit Statement

Busy day with quite a bit on the economic front: if Gallup is right March retail sales will be weaker than expected. Other key events include the JOLTS survey, business inventories, a Treasury auction and the inverse - POMO; and last Obama is presenting at noon his deficit reduction plan.

8:30: Retail sales (March): Upside Risks. We see upside risk to consensus estimates. We are forecasting a gain of 0.7% mom in total sales (median: 0.5%) and 1.0% ex-autos (median: 0.7%). Once shifts in the timing of Easter are taken into account, chain-store sales looked healthy. Moreover, price increases may lift the nominal value of sales for some products.
On total sales, median forecast (of 82): +0.5%; last: +1.0%;
On sales ex autos, median forecast (of 72): +0.7%; last +0.7%.

10:00: Business inventories (February). Not a market mover, but the non-auto retail inventory component could have an impact on our “bean-count” estimate of Q1 GDP.
Median forecast (of 48): +0.8%; last +0.9%.
10:00 JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) (February). The monthly JOLTS report includes data on gross labor market flows, and therefore provides more detail on current job conditions than the timelier Employment Report. As of the January figures, both gross layoffs and gross hiring activity remained low.

11:00 POMO Closes: Fed Monetizes $4-6 Billion in 10/15/2012-09/30/2013 bonds

Mid-day: President Obama presents deficit-reduction plan.

13:00 Treasury Auction: $21 Billion in 9-Year 10-Month Reopening

14:00: Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. Currently we see a mixed message in the various measures of real activity. On the one hand, expenditure-related data, which feed into our estimate of GDP, have unexpectedly weakened. On the other hand, surveys, and some other “hard” data still look strong (e.g. industrial production). The anecdotal information in the latest Beige Book may help clarify which is a more accurate depiction of current activity.


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