The Day at a Glance | October 17 2023

*Retail sales in the US surprised to the upside with a monthly 0.7% increase in September (0.3% e.). 

*US President Joe Biden will visit Israel this Wednesday after Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. 

*Republican Jim Jordan will seek to become the leader of the US House of Representatives this Tuesday. 

*Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in China on Tuesday in a highly-watched trip that demonstrates the strength of the relationship between both countries. 

*Country Garden’s total foreign debt would fall into default this Tuesday if the Chinese real-estate giant fails to make its payments.

Economic environment

Retail sales in the US suggest that the economy ended the 3Q23 on a strong note. Retail sales in the US recorded a 0.7% m/m rate of growth in September, surpassing the 0.3% forecasted by analysts. This reading was driven by a 1.0% increase in motor vehicle sales and a monthly 3.0% hike in miscellaneous store sales. Additionally, other sectors also reported increases, with notable expansions in food and beverage services, and gas stations, both with 0.9% monthly increases. Personal health stores also logged a 0.8% monthly increase. In contrast, sales in clothing and electronics stores both declined by -0.9% m/m. When considering the “control group,” which excludes sales in food services, autos, building materials, and gas stations, retail sales increased by 0.6%. On an annual basis, retail sales in the US increased 3.8%. Overall, September´s figures indicate that consumer spending remained “robust” despite high financing costs and the cumulative effect of inflation, suggesting a strong end to the US economy’s third quarter.

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