Economists Lower Q4 Growth Outlook After Weak Retail Data

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he Commerce Department reported retail sales fell 1.2 percent. In addition, November data was revised lower to show retail sales were up 0.1 percent as opposed to the previously reported 0.2 percent.

Economists polled by Reuters were forecasting retail sales to be up 0.2 percent in the month of December.

“This number was terrible,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, in a note. “The US consumer is holding the global economy on its shoulders. After seeing today’s data, we better hope it was a one month outlier and that the rebound in stocks in January and month to date will revive consumer spending.”

Earlier this year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) projected retail sales figures to grow from 3.8 to 4.4 percent, which is lower than the 4.6 percent growth experienced in 2018. Whether it hurts the ETFs will depend on how the market interprets the data, but the NRF says the forecast comes “despite threats from an ongoing trade war, the volatile stock market and the effects of the government shutdown.”

For more information on the consumer sector, visit our consumer discretionary category.