Retail sales mixed relative to expectations

Retail Sales in Jan rose .4% headline m/o/m, .7% ex auto’s, .6% ex auto’s and gasoline and .7% at the core. The headline figure was less than expected while the rest were slightly better. But, with respect to non headline sales, because Dec figures were revised lower, taking the two months together were about in line with forecasts overall. Sales rose in electronics, building materials, food/beverages, clothing, sporting goods, dept stores and restaurant/bars and fell interestingly for online retailers, health/personal care, furniture and motor vehicle/parts. Bottom line, headline sales were below expectations due to the greater than expected fall m/o/m in vehicles/parts but were fine ex this and in line with estimates including the Dec downward revisions.

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