PCE

February CPI down 0.2% on Cheaper Gasoline; 0.3% Rise in Core Prices Reduces Real PCE

Consumer prices for food and most goods and services were all up in February, but another big drop in energy prices dragged the overall index down.   The Consumer Price Index Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that seasonally adjusted prices fell by 0.2% in February after they had been unchanged in January and fallen 0.1% in December.

February Retail Sales Drop -0.1% On Plunging Gasoline Prices

The February 2016 Retail Sales report shows retail sales decreased -0.1% for the month as gasoline sales plunged by -4.4%.  Without autos & parts sales, retail sales still decreased by -0.1%.  Gasoline sales have dropped -15.6% from a year ago.  Declining gasoline sales are once again responsible for the disappointing figures, as without gas stations considered, retail sales increased by a modest 0.2%.

On the Revision of 3rd Quarter GDP from a 1.5% Growth Rate to a 2.1% Rate

As was widely expected,  the Second Estimate of our 3rd Quarter GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that our real output of goods and services grew at a 2.1% rate in the 2nd quarter, revised from the 1.5% growth rate reported in the advance estimate last month, as fixed investment and inventories were revised higher while exports were revised lower.

October Retail Sales A Lackluster 0.1% Increase

The October 2015 Retail Sales report shows retail sales increased 0.1% for the month as auto sales slid by -0.5%.  Without autos & parts sales, retail sales increased 0.2%.  Gasoline sales declined by -0.9%.  Gasoline sales have plunged by 20.1% from a year ago.  Declining gasoline sales are not responsible for such weak consumer demand, for without gas stations considered, retail sales only rose by 0.1%.

September Retail Sales Up 0.1% on Autos; Would Add 0.09 Percentage Points to 3rd Quarter GDP

Seasonally adjusted headline retail sales rose just 0.1% in September while August sales were revised 0.2% lower and July's sales were revised 0.1% higher, resulting in an advance sales figure statistically unchanged from last month's report.  The Advance Retail Sales Report for September (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that our seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales totaled $447.7 billion,

August Personal Income up 0.3%; PCE on Track to Add 2.03 Percentage Points to GDP

0ther than the employment report and the GDP report itself, the monthly report on Personal Income and Outlays from the Bureau of Economic Analysis is probably the most important economic release we see monthly, as it gives us the monthly data on our personal consumption expenditures (PCE), which accounts for more than 2/3rds of GDP, and the PCE price index,

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