FR: Consumer Mfgd Goods Consumption

December 23, 2016 01:45 CST

Consensus Actual Previous
Month over Month -0.1% 0.4% 0.5%
Year over Year 3.0% 2.2%

Household spending on manufactured goods unexpectedly continued to grow in November. A 0.4 percent monthly rise followed an unrevised 0.5 percent gain in October and put purchases a tidy 3.0 percent higher on the year.

Engineered goods saw a 0.3 percent monthly increase led by autos (2.4 percent) and the other engineered goods category (0.3 percent). However, household durables dropped 0.9 percent as did textiles. Food posted a minimal 0.1 percent increase.

Withy energy advancing fully 1.4 percent, total goods spending also rose 0.4 percent versus September when it climbed a marginally smaller revised 0.8 percent. The latest increase puts average overall goods consumption in October/November a very useful 1.1 percent above its average level in the third quarter when it contracted 0.4 percent. This is in line with a possibly marked pick-up in real GDP growth and the national central bank's current 0.4 percent forecast for the fourth quarter now looks much more realistic.

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 as part of the report on 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.