U.S. Outlook: Retail sales shine in robust holiday shopping season
December retail sales came in at a robust pace, and November sales were revised higher, cementing a decent increase in real consumer spending for the fourth quarter.
For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Jan. 12.Key observations:
- Over the past three months, retail sales have increased at an accelerated 11.3% annualized pace.
- We are revising our Q4 real GDP estimate up to a 2.7% annualized pace.
- Building material and furniture store sales were almost 10% above year-ago levels, largely due to hurricane rebuilding and a robust housing market.
- The increase in core consumer inflation helped lift the year-on-year increase in core CPI to 1.8% from 1.7%. These are marginally better numbers on consumer inflation, but are they as strong as the FOMC would like to see at this stage of the economic cycle?