The Census Bureau’s report on Retail Sales in August was released this morning and the results were a little disappointing. Overall, Retail Sales grew 0.6% last month and that was a little shy of the 1% forecast. Also, July’s 1.2% gain was revised to just 0.9%. Without Autos, Sales grew 0.7% and that also disappointed analysts looking for 1% growth. That measure was also revised for July from 1.9% to just 1.3%. Core Retail Sales, without auto dealers, gas stations, and building materials, actually fell 0.1% last month versus an expected rise of 0.3%. July’s 1.4% growth rate in core sales was revised to 0.9%. With the supplemental $600 weekly unemployment benefits expiring at the end of July, perhaps the disappointing results shouldn’t have been that surprising.
Earlier today, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that new Mortgage Applications fell 2.5% for the week ending September 11th. Treasury prices are moving up in early trading with the Ten-Year’s yield falling a couple of basis points to around 0.65%. The Long Bond sits at 1.40% off a price gain of about a half-point. Crude oil has rallied a bit to around $39 with gold’s $15 price gain pushing it to around $1,969. Investors will be anxiously awaiting this afternoon’s press conference from Chairman Powell following the conclusion of this week’s FOMC meeting.