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Retail Sales Disappoints, Tests Recessionary Waters Ahead Of Fed Meeting

Following our warning that both Gallup's and BofAML's indications of retail sales were sliding to multi-month lows, it should come as no surprise that retail sales in August disappointed printing +0.2% MoM (missing +0.3% expectations), with ex-autos (0.1%, Exp. 0.2%) and ex autos and gas (0.3%, Exp. 0.4%) also missing.

This dragged the YoY retail sales change down to a recession-looming +1.6% print. Ironically, while most headline data missed, the GDP-dependent 'control group' rose a fraction more than expected (+0.4% vs +0.3%). Since this is the last major data point before The Fed's big decision, it would appear another nail in the coffin of a rate hike was just struck.

Retail Sales on an annual basis rose just 1.6% from 2014, testing increasingly recessionary waters.

 

The only silver lining: the control group, which rose 3.5% Y/Y. At some point the gap between these two series will have to close.

And the full breakdown: best performing categories - Miscellaneous retailers +0.9% and Health and Personal Care stores at 0.8%; Worst performers: building matterial and garden equipment: -1.8%.

Charts: Bloomberg