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Ahead of today's US Retail Sales....>

US DATA PREVIEW
US DATA PREVIEW: Ahead of today's US Retail Sales Westpac look for a 0.5% gain
in headline sales and a slightly stronger outcome for the core series. They note
auto sales are likely to be a hindrance at the margin, while gasoline prices
should have little to no impact in the month.
- Nomura expect a robust 0.6% m/m increase in nominal core retail sales in
December. They add, sales at gasoline stations likely fell as retail gasoline
prices trended lower in December relative to the level in November. Excluding
auto sales, we expect a healthy increase of 0.4%. Altogether, we expect a 0.5%
increase in total nominal retail sales.

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