|Month over Month||0.2%||-0.1%||0.3%|
|Year over Year||2.9%||2.2%||2.4%|
Household spending on manufactured goods dipped 0.1 percent on the month in September following an unrevised 0.3 percent rise in August. However, the weaker than expected outturn still saw annual growth of purchases accelerate from 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent, its fastest pace since February 2011.
September's headline decline masked a solid 1.4 percent monthly bounce in spending on durables, itself supported by a 2.3 percent spurt in auto purchases. The other manufactured goods category recorded a 0.3 percent advance but household goods posted a 0.3 percent decline and textiles were down 0.4 percent.
Meantime, total spending on goods was slightly firmer, showing no change from its level in August when it edged 0.1 percent higher on the month. Having fallen 0.1 percent in April-June, this made for a 0.7 percent quarterly increase that bodes well for a positive contribution from overall household spending to real GDP growth in the quarter just ended. After stagnating in the middle of the year the economy now looks to be back on a recovery path again even if momentum still appears to be relatively sluggish.
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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