US: Retail sales to slow after hurricane surge – Westpac

According to analysts at Westpac, US retail sales received a large boost from restocking in the month of September in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Key Quotes

“There were two particularly notable weather effects in the month: (1) car sales surged in affected areas as consumers replaced vehicles written off in the storm; and (2) the surge in gasoline prices flattered total nominal sales.”

“Both effects will be largely absent in October. Hence our expectation that sales will rise by just 0.3% following September's 1.6% jump. The market forecast of 0.1% points to some downside risk. Broadly, it has long been hoped that confidence and job gains will drive stronger sales. However, soft wages growth continues to get in the way.”

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