BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, Retail Sales for December rose 0.3%, as expected. Strength was seen in gasoline stations, clothing stores, and building material retailers, while motor vehicle & parts dealers were weak. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials and gas stations, rose 0.5% in December, above forecasts. Overall, a nice rebound in the control group figures from the previous month, which is used in the calculation of GDP. Consumers appear to have maintained their spending levels as we moved through the holidays, suggesting the economy will continue its moderate pace of growth in the months ahead. In all, bond yields ticked higher following the report and equity futures are higher heading into the market open.
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