Some simple facts:
- October US Retail sales rose +0.5% m/m (+7.2% y/y) vs. expected +0.3% m/m
- Retail ex-autos rose +0.6% m/m (+7.3% y/y) vs. expected +0.2% m/m
- Retail ex-autos & gas rose +0.7% m/m (+6.1% y/y) vs. expected +0.2% m/m
We’re way into this expansion—long enough that we’ve had a full on (and typical) mid-cycle slowdown—and real US GDP along with US retail sales are at all-time highs. The recent retail sales gains are broad-based: increased electronics store sales (+3.7% m/m), internet retail (non-store retail +1.5% m/m), sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores also posted a strong gain (+1.3% m/m). All of this led to an acceleration of core (ex-autos & gas) retail and a solid reading for headline growth following a sharp jump from an auto rebound in September.
We’re past the point where economists can easily claim the unemployment rate will “one day” sink the economy. These things are sometimes slow to move, but indications so far are that the world is moving on to new highs.