U.S. retail sales dropped 1.2% in December with ex-autos plunging 1.8%.
November’s 0.2% headline gain was revised down to 0.1%, while the 0.2% ex-auto figure was unrevised after strong gains in October of 1.0% (revised from 1.1%) and 0.8% (revised from 1.0%), respectively.
Sales excluding autos, gas, and building materials tumbled 1.6% versus the prior 0.7% jump (revised from 0.6%). Motor vehicle sales climbed 1.0% after a 0.7% prior gain (revised from 0.2%).
Gas station sales declined 5.1% from -4.4% (revised from -2.3%). Food, beverage prices were down 0.4% compared to 0.1% previously (revised from 0.4%).
Building materials edged up 0.3% from -1.5% (revised from -0.3%). Furniture sales dropped 1.3% from 0.5% (revised from 1.2%).
Clothing sales fell 0.7% from 0.4% (revised from -0.2%). Nonstore retailers were down 3.9% from 2.8% (revised from 2.3%).
Miscellaneous sales crashed down 4.1% from 4.0% (revised from 0.4%). This is a very disappointing result and should knock yields and equities lower.
Some analysts blame the drop on the government shutdown while others are seeing a worrying consumers above the situation in Washington as the main reason.
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