Reports today showed consumer spending climbed more than forecast in December, wholesale prices in the U.S. dropped for a third month in December, and manufacturing in the New York region contracted for a sixth month in January.
Advance Retail Sales
Retail Sales Less Autos
Retail Sales Ex Auto & Gas
Retail Sales "Control Group"
Producer Price Index MoM
PPI Ex Food & Energy MoM
Producer Price Index YoY
PPI Ex Food & Energy YoY
Retail Sales: Sales at U.S. Retailers Rose More Than Forecast in December
Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than projected in December as Americans wrapped up their holiday shopping, showing households looked beyond the year-end budget battle among U.S. lawmakers.
The 0.5 percent gain followed a revised 0.4 percent increase in November that was more than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent rise. Sales excluding automobiles and gasoline climbed 0.6 percent for a second month.
Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, was boosted by an improving labor market, growth in incomes and discounting by chains such as Macy’s Inc. that may help sustain demand this year. At the same time, households may be hard-pressed to accelerate purchases as higher payroll taxes cut into take-home pay starting this month.
“Consumers continue to spend at a decent pace,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, who correctly forecast the gain in sales minus automobiles. “The payroll tax will have a modest impact on spending. We need faster job and income growth to allow the consumer to shift into higher gear.”
Stock-index futures remained lower after the figures, with the contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March falling 0.4 percent to 1,458.3 at 8:49 a.m. in New York.
PPI: Wholesale Prices in U.S. Fall More Than Forecast on Food
Wholesale prices in the U.S. dropped for a third month in December as food costs retreated, capping the smallest annual gain in four years and indicating there is little risk of a pickup in inflation.
The producer price index declined 0.2 percent following a 0.8 percent decrease the prior month. Economists projected a 0.1 percent fall, according to the median of 77 estimates. For all of 2012, prices paid by companies climbed 1.3 percent, the smallest advance since a drop in 2008 and compared with an average 3.4 percent gain over the prior decade.
Demand that cooled globally last year from Europe to China helped check input costs for producers. The reduced inflationary pressures mean Federal Reserve policy makers can keep adding stimulus to spur growth and employment without triggering a surge in prices.
Other reports today showed consumer spending climbed more than forecast in December and manufacturing in the New York region contracted for s sixth month in January.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury