Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Merrill: The Impact of Harvey on August Retail Sales

by Bill McBride on 9/13/2017 09:52:00 AM

A few excerpts from a note by Merrill Lynch economists:

A net drag from Harvey in August Retail sales ex-autos, as measured by BAC aggregated credit and debit card data, declined 0.1% mom seasonally adjusted in August. After controlling for the increase in gasoline spending, retail sales ex-autos and gasoline declined 0.4%. ... Bottom line: the weakness in retail sales in August is likely exaggerated by the hurricane and July prime-day. While Hurricane Irma may depress spending in September, we typically see retail sales bounce back after a natural disaster, suggesting upside into 4Q.
CR Note: We will see weakness in several indicators over the next couple of months due to the hurricanes, and then a bounce back later in the year. Retail sales for August will be released on Friday.  The consensus is for a 0.1% increase in retail sales.