Industrial Production broadly missed expectations with an unexpected decline in September (-0.6%) with the consensus expecting a 1.0% increase. The decline was largely driven by categories that did well early in the pandemic (food, vehicles, lumber).
September retail sales exceeded expectations, rising 1.9% versus expectations of a 0.8% increase as spending rose broadly as school and work from home has changed typical seasonal patterns, and regular spending on entertainment and in-person services is getting rerouted elsewhere.
Despite more robust retail sales, consumer sentiment remains well below preCOVID levels, though slightly increased in October in the University of Michigan’s survey. The rise was entirely driven by future expectations improving, while current conditions fell.
Initial unemployment again missed expectations at nearly 900K new filings (898K), up from last week’s 840K and expectations of 825K.