US Retail Sales And Industrial Production Drops While Consumer Confidence Rises

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    US stores in August recorded a 0.2 percent drop in sales instead of expected moderate growth because of damages caused by the weather, or Harvey Hurricane, on the southern coast. What’s more, the previous month was revised downwards to 0.3 percent and the net sales were also weak. Without sales of cars and gasoline, revenue declined by 0.1 percent. According to Census Bureau statistics, however, the published preliminary result was not significantly affected by the hurricane, although in isolated cases sales fluctuations occurred.

    Car sales in August have fallen and were one of the negative items next to electronics or clothing sales. However, that was the number. By contrast, sales of gasoline grew considerably due to higher prices. Besides them, sales of furniture or food also grew. Year-on-year, retail sales are up 3.2 percent higher, adjusted for 3.3 percentage points. In both cases, this is a slowdown compared to the previous month. Quarterly real sales dynamics, which can be taken as one of the indications for the strength of consumer demand within GDP, is worse for 3Q than in the previous quarter, but remains slightly positive.

    Data from retail was worse than expected. The economy succeeded in showing good performance in the 2Q, followed by other good news, but this is a warning signal that consumer demand is slowing down. The impact of new numbers on the financial markets is, however, negligible.

    Consumer confidence in the United States has decreased in September. This is evidenced by a preliminary estimate published by the University of Michigan. The index reflecting sentiment among US consumers went to 95.3, from 96.8 in September. Economists generally predicted a slightly higher consumer confidence to a level of 95.

    Industrial production in the United States fell by 0.9 percent in August compared with the previous month. According to figures from the Federal Reserve. Economists, on average, estimated a growth rate of 0.1 percent. In July, production rose by a revised 0.4 percent. The occupancy rate in US industry came out at 76.1 percent in August, compared with 76.9 percent a month earlier.

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    I am a lecturer at the University of Economics in Bratislava, department of Banking and International Finance. I have a Ph.D. academic degree, my dissertation was focused on major markets. Commodities and stock markets are also the main focus of my research and publication activities. I have approximately 10 years of investing experiences. My investments mostly focus on small- to mid-cap companies of energy sector, financial and technology.

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