FR: Consumer Mfgd Goods Consumption

Fri Jul 31 01:45:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Month over Month 0.3% 0.2% 0.0% 0.1%
Year over Year 1.7% 2.6% 2.7%

Household spending on manufactured goods edged up a slightly smaller than expected 0.2 percent on the month in June after a marginally larger revised 0.1 percent gain in May. However, what was the third consecutive increase in purchases saw annual growth slide from 2.7 percent to 1.7 percent courtesy of negative base effects.

June's monthly advance was dominated by a 0.7 percent rise in spending on autos but household goods were up a respectable 0.4 percent as were textiles. The other products category weighed in with a 0.2 percent increase. As a result, second quarter consumption of manufactured goods was 0.3 percent above its level in the first quarter when it expanded a very robust 0.9 percent.

Meantime, total goods spending was rather stronger, posting a 0.4 percent monthly increase following 0.1 percent rises in both April and May. However, over the second quarter it fell 0.1 percent, a marked reversal from the 1.5 percent bounce seen in the January-March period. This is consistent with some slowdown in French economic growth last quarter from the surprisingly robust 0.6 percent quarterly rate achieved at the start of the year.

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.