9/15/16, "U.S. retail sales, factory output slump; third-quarter growth forecast cut," Reuters, Lucia Mutikani
"U.S. retail sales
fell more than expected in August amid weak purchases of automobiles
and a range of other goods, pointing to cooling domestic demand that
further diminishes expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate
increase next week.
economic growth outlook also took a hit from other data on Thursday
showing a drop in manufacturing output last month. The reports, which
extended August's run of weak data, prompted economists to cut their
growth estimates for the third quarter....
Commerce Department said retail sales declined 0.3 percent after edging
up 0.1 percent in July. Sales were up 1.9 percent from a year ago.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services,
retail sales slipped 0.1 percent last month after a similar drop in
These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. Economists had forecast overall retail sales slipping 0.1 percent and core sales climbing 0.3 percent last month.
were almost broadly weak, rising in only four categories, including
clothing stores and restaurants and bars. Receipts at auto dealerships
fell 0.9 percent and online sales, whose share has grown in recent
years, dropped 0.3 percent....
Stocks on Wall Street
rose on the diminishing chances of a rate hike next week, while the
dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies. Prices for
shorter-dated U.S. Treasury debt rose marginally.
In a second report, the Fed
said manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent in August, reversing July's
increase. Output was hurt by declines in the production of nondurable
goods. While many durable goods industries posted declines of nearly 1
percent or more, motor vehicle assembly increased.
is grappling with the lingering effects of a strong dollar and lower
oil prices. Activity in the sector, which accounts for 12 percent of the
U.S. economy, has also been undercut by an inventory correction.
Regional surveys also suggested factories remained on the back foot in
But there was good news from mining, where
output rose 1.0 percent in August as oil and gas well drilling increased
for a third straight month.
wake of the dour reports, the Atlanta Fed lowered its third-quarter GDP
estimate by three-tenths of a percentage point to a 3.0 percent annual
rate. The economy grew at a 1.1 percent rate in the second quarter....
A third report from the Labor
Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits edged
up 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended Sept. 10."...