PREVIEW-US Sept retail sales seen rising 0.4 pct
WHAT: September U.S. retail sales
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 15 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT)
REUTERS FORECASTS: Retail Sales Ex-autos
Median +0.4 pct +0.4 pct
Minimum -0.1 pct -0.4 pct
Maximum +0.8 pct +0.7 pct
Prior +0.4 pct +0.6 pct
Number of forecasts 73 68
FACTORS TO WATCH
U.S. retail sales probably rose about 0.4 percent in September, about even with August's gain and adding to a modest growth trend that resumed in July. However, many analysts attribute at least part of this to a rise in gasoline prices, with sales elsewhere growing at a more gradual pace. The report is based on dollar receipts and not volume, so an increase in prices can push up the measure of sales.
U.S. retailers reported same-store sales rose 2.8 percent in September, helped by a late start to the back-to-school season. Overall U.S. auto sales were up 29 percent from a year earlier, but the daily selling rate had slipped about 4 percent in September from August. Excluding autos, analysts had forecast a 0.4 percent growth in September sales.
An as-expected 0.4 percent gain in retail sales would support stocks, which have been rallying in recent weeks on evidence consumers are starting to spend again and the economy will avoid a double-dip recession, while a lower-than-expected result would likely reinforce concerns about the economy and push the market lower.
A positive report could weigh on bond prices, which have been buoyed by anticipation of further monetary easing by the Federal Reserve. An above-consensus reading could help lift the slumping dollar, while weaker-than-expected data would likely see the dollar resume its slide.
* UBS: Autos and gas probably added to total retail sales in September, but we forecast only a modest rise in other sales. Even so, our forecast suggests a 2 percent pace for real consumer spending growth, in line with H1. It appears to us that consumer confidence is rising again in October, consistent with more support for spending.
*BMO CAPITAL MARKETS: The September retail sales report should show a moderate pickup in sales, consistent with real consumer spending growing about 2 percent in Q3. With consumers accounting for two-thirds of the economy, this means the economy is still likely growing at a sub-par rate of 2 percent (or less given state/local cutbacks and housing weakness). Consequently, the labor market is not creating jobs fast enough to reduce the unemployment rate, especially not with local governments swinging the cost-cutting ax to address crumbling property-tax revenues (another symptom of the foreclosure crisis).
* IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT: Retail sales are expected to increase 0.5 percent in September overall and by 0.4 percent, excluding autos. Autos sales increased due to some release of pent-up demand. Sales at gasoline stations will probably be pushed up again by higher prices. Building material outlet sales were probably little changed, and other retail channels are expected to exhibit modest growth in September after a relatively strong August. Consumers are still cautious and consumer confidence is at low levels. (Polling by Bangalore Unit; reporting by David Lawder; editing by Andre Grenon)
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