The Retail Sales Report's Real Surprise
The U.S. retail sales data for December followed a now-familiar pattern of outpacing Wall Street expectations with broad-based surprises to the upside for most of the major spending components detailed in the report. The report, released Jan. 15, showed a decline in the headline number (including food services) of 0.1%, which was much better than the 1.4% drop expected by the median forecast in an S&P MMS survey of bond market pros. The ex-auto figure decreased 0.1% as well, which was in line with expectations.
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