Retail sales for November missed the mark by a wide margin, data out Friday showed, injecting a bit of pessimism into an otherwise rosy domestic economic narrative.
The headline print for last month is a 0.2% gain, well short of the 0.5% consensus was looking for. October’s headline was revised up to 0.4%.
The ex-autos print is 0.1%. That looks like a grievous miss. The market was expecting 0.4%.
The control group rose 0.1% in November.
Given everything else that’s going on Friday, whether it’s the fallout from the UK election or trade brinksmanship, it’s unlikely that this number will get much attention.
But maybe it should. After all, business spending has contracted for two consecutive quarters. The consumer is what’s keeping the US economy on track. Any cracks in that pillar could spell trouble.
It’s worth noting that the miss for November comes in the context of improving consumer sentiment and an equity rally that pushed stocks to new record highs. That apparently did not translate into more spending.
Take it for what it’s worth.