Core Retail Sales Drops By Most In 16 Months As Restaurant Spending Tumbles

After a disappointing slowdown in August, retail sales were expected to rebound in September but rather dramatically missed with headline data rising just 0.1% MoM (against expectations of a 0.6% rise).

 

However, while the "control group" beat expectations - rising 0.5% MoM (vs +0.4% exp), retail sales ex-Autos retail sales actually dropped in September by 0.1%, the biggest drop since May 2017...

Under the hood, 10 segments saw higher sales, 3 were lower...

Gas station spending dropped (likely price related), health and personal care stores also weakened, but the biggest drop was for restaurants spending, down 1.8% - the most since 2016 (which is being blamed on the Hurricanes)... shopping and consumer activities such as restaurant visits may have been affected in North Carolina and South Carolina in the aftermath of Florence, which made landfall on Sept. 14. At the same time, past experience indicates any negative fallout tends to be temporary and reverses in subsequent months.

So much for the exuberant consumer?