|Month over Month||0.0%||0.0%||0.3%||0.4%|
|Year over Year||2.6%||2.0%||2.1%|
Household spending on manufactured goods was unchanged on the month in May, matching market expectations and following a marginally firmer revised 0.4 percent increase in April. Annual growth of purchases was 2.6 percent, up five ticks from last time.
Sales were boosted by a 0.2 percent monthly increase in autos and a 0.1 percent gain in the other manufactured products category. However, offsets came from household goods (minus 0.6 percent) and textiles (minus 0.3 percent), the decline in the former coming after 0.2 percent falls in both March and April and probably in part reflecting a very weak housing market.
Total goods spending was fractionally stronger, posting a 0.1 percent monthly rise having shown no change in April. As a result, average goods spending in the first two months of the quarter was a disappointing 0.4 percent below its mean in the first quarter when it increased fully 1.5 percent. Consumer confidence held onto a 7-year high in June but today's data increase the likelihood of economic growth this quarter falling well short of the previous period's 0.6 percent pace.
Consumption of manufactured goods by consumers is an indicator of consumer spending for household durable goods such as autos and furniture. The data are released separately but also as part of the measure of total goods spending.
This indicator is a measure of retail sales and is unique to France. It measures consumer spending for household durable goods such as autos and furniture. The data are seasonally and workday adjusted. These adjustments eliminate the fluctuations that are solely due to changes in the number of working days. The data appear to be particularly sensitive to the number of worked Saturdays. With consumer spending a large part of the economy, market players continually monitor spending patterns. Retail sales are a measure of consumer well-being.
The pattern in consumer spending is often the foremost influence on stock and bond markets. For stocks, strong economic growth translates to healthy corporate profits and higher stock prices. For bonds, the focus is whether economic growth goes overboard and leads to inflation. Ideally, the economy walks that fine line between strong growth and excessive (inflationary) growth.
Retail sales not only give you a sense of the big picture, but also the trends among different types of retailers. Perhaps auto sales are especially strong or apparel sales are showing exceptional weakness. These trends from the retail sales data can help you spot specific investment opportunities, without having to wait for a company's quarterly or annual report.
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