(Reuters) - Retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more cars and gasoline. Separate data showed manufacturing in New York state shrank for the third month in a row.
PETER BOOCKVAR, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, MILLER TABAK + CO, NEW YORK
“Bottom line, with personal spending being most of the U.S. economy, this data point is obviously important and the better results will lead to an uptick to Q3 GDP estimates, all else equal, from the current median of 1.8 percent.
“...ISM rose back above 50 in Sept but today’s New York reading, if followed by other regionals, imply it may not stay or at best be barely above.”
STEPHEN STANLEY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, PIERPONT SECURITIES, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT
“The strength was pretty broad based. We had expected contributions from back-to-school purchases and iPhone sales. A lot of other categories were up too. It will probably nudge up people’s Q3 GDP estimates, but it won’t really change the tenor of the results. It’s still lackluster growth.
“As the quarter progressed, consumers hanged in there pretty well and might have even picked up a bit little. On the other hand, business activities have slowed down a lot. They seemed to be sitting on their hands until the presidential election to see how things shake out on the legislative and regulatory front. The stage could be set for some acceleration next year.”
CRAIG DISMUKE, CHIEF ECONOMIC STRATEGIST, VINING SPARKS, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
“Across the board it looks better. The sales of iPhones might have something to do it with a 4.5 percent rise in the electronics and appliances sales. This is a good end of third quarter and we have some good momentum to the fourth quarter. We might add a few tenths (of a percentage point in growth) to the third quarter GDP.”
TODD SCHOENBERGER, MANAGING PRINCIPAL AT THE BLACKBAY GROUP IN NEW YORK
“Retail sales weren’t a big surprise. Sentiment and confidence have been higher, as has the stock market, so people are going out to spend money. Also, weather has been nice, which gets people shopping. This paints a very good picture for the holiday season.
“The Empire State number isn’t a big surprise either, but consumers are such an important part of the economy that everyone will be focusing on retail sales.”
Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300