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U.S. Retail Sales: August Preview

US retail sales are expected to rise 0.4% in tomorrow’s update for August, according to The Capital Spectator’s average econometric forecast. That’s up from the previously reported 0.2% gain in July. Meanwhile, the Capital Spectator’s average projection for August is at the low end of the range relative to consensus forecasts based on recent surveys of economists.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers, followed by brief definitions of the methodologies behind The Capital Spectator’s projections:

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R-2: A linear regression model that analyzes two data series in context with retail sales: an index of weekly hours worked for production/nonsupervisory employees in private industries and the stock market (S&P 500). The historical relationship between the variables is applied to the more recently updated data to project retail sales. The computations are run in R.

ARIMA: An autoregressive integrated moving average model that analyzes the historical record of retail sales in R via the “forecast” package.

ES: An exponential smoothing model that analyzes the historical record of retail sales in R via the “forecast” package.

VAR-6: A vector autoregression model that analyzes six time series in context with retail sales. The six additional series: US private payrolls, industrial production, index of weekly hours worked for production/nonsupervisory employees in private industries, the stock market (S&P 500), disposable personal income, and personal consumption expenditures. The forecasts are calculated in R with the “vars” package.

This piece is cross-posted from The Capital Spectator with permission.

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