Retail Sales August 2022:

Retail sales numbers were better than expected in August as price increases across several sectors offset the significant drop in gas station revenue, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Progressing Retail sales for this month It rose 0.3% from July, better than Dow Jones’ estimate of no change. The overall was not adjusted for inflation, which rose 0.1% in August, indicating that spending outpaced price increases.

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inflation As measured by the Consumer Price Index It rose 8.3% over the last year through August, while retail sales increased 9.3%.

However, excluding cars, sales fell 0.3% for the month, below estimates of a 0.1% increase. Excluding cars and gas, sales rose 0.3%.

Sales at auto and auto parts dealers topped all categories, rising 2.8%, helping offset the 4.2% decline at gas stations, whose revenue slumped as prices fell sharply. Online sales also fell 0.7%, while sales of bars and restaurants rose 1.1%.

Revisions to the July numbers indicated more consumer suffering, with initially reported unchanged but down 0.4%.

The “control” group that economists use to trim retail sales is also unchanged from July. The group excludes sales from car dealers, building materials retailers, gas stations, office supply stores, mobile homes and tobacco stores, which the government uses to calculate the retail share of GDP.

“Rising inflation has led to higher sales numbers, but volumes are clearly declining because sales on a real basis are negative,” said Peter Bokfar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Consulting Group. “Core retail sales well below expectations will lower GDP estimates for the third quarter as reported.”

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, called the statement “a mixed report, but we see no cause for concern.” He said the downturn in the housing sector will reduce some related sales numbers, but that public spending should rise as real incomes rise.

The retail numbers led a busy day of economic data.

in another place, Unemployment Complaints Rates For the week ending September 10, they totaled 213,000, down 5,000 from the previous week and better than the estimate of 225,000. August import prices fell 1%, less than the expected 1.2% decline.

Two measures of manufacturing showed mixed results: the New York Federal Reserve Empire State Manufacturing Index For September it showed a reading of -1.5, a massive 30 pips jump from the previous month. However, the Philadelphia Federal Scale It came in at -9.9, a significant drop from 6.2 in August and below expectations of a positive reading of 2.3.

The Fed readings reflect the percentage of companies that reported expansion versus contraction, indicating a broad-based manufacturing decline during the month.

However, reports indicated some easing in price pressures. For New York, prices paid and prices received by indices decreased respectively by 15.9 and 9.1 points, although both remained firmly in growth territory with readings of 39.6 and 23.6. In Philadelphia, prices paid fell nearly 14 points but prices increased by 6.3 points. These two indicators were respectively 29.8 and 29.6, indicating that prices are still rising overall but at a slower pace.