9/18: MetroIntelligence Econ Update, P.DUFFY

August retail sales edged up 0.1 percent as shoppers took a break

Retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in August, the smallest rise since February.   Still, data for July was revised higher to show sales rising 0.7 percent instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent gain.

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Consumer sentiment rose strongly to near-record level in early September survey

Consumer sentiment rose strongly in an early September read to 100.8, the second-highest level since 2004, and only behind the March 2018 reading of 101.4. These gains were also widespread across all major socioeconomic subgroups.

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August industrial production rose for third straight month, up 4.9 percent year-on-year

Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in August for its third consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.2 percent on the strength of a 4.0 percent rise for motor vehicles and parts. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.9 percent higher in August than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up in August to 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2017) average.

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July business inventories up 0.6 percent from June and 4.3 percent year-on-year

July business inventories increased 0.6 percent after edging up 0.1 percent in June and boosted by a strong increase in the stock of motor vehicles.  Year-on-year inventories rose 4.3. percent.

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