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     WASHINGTON (MNI) - Analysts are expecting headline June retail sales to
rise by 0.3% and ex-motor vehicle sales to rise by 0.4% when it is released on
Thursday, with the MNI survey and the Bloomberg consensus agreeing. Forecast
history shows a strong tendency by analysts to overestimate July headline sales,
but there is no clear risk for sales ex. motor vehicles. The data will be
released on Thursday.
     Here are some key things to keep in mind:
     - Analysts have shown a slight tendency to overestimate July headline
retail sales in the past 20 years of data, with 10 overestimates and nine
overestimates. More recently, the split is even more pronounced, with six
overestimates and three underestimates in the last 10 years.
     - In the past 20 years, analysts have overestimated ex. auto sales 10 times
and underestimated only eight times, but with a roughly even split of 5-4 in
favor of underestimates over the last 10 years. The data suggest a miss could go
in either direction.
     - The Consumer Price Index for gasoline rose by 2.5% in July following a
dramatic 3.6% decline in June and a smaller 0.5% drop in May. The CPI for
gasoline tracks remarkably well with the gas station sales component of the
retail report, signaling a probable increase in July gas station sales.
     - Amazon Prime day, a two-day global online shopping event on July 15-16,
was particularly strong this year, selling more than 175 million items
worldwide. Following the sale, the online retailer announced it had sold more
than $600,000 in electronic devices alone, suggesting strong consumer spending
will be reflected in that area.
     - Strong Retail sales were up 7.5% SAAR in the second quarter, a strong
gains after a weak first quarter. Sales were up 6.9% excluding motor vehicles
and 7.5% for the control group. The expected monthly gains in July should start
the third quarter off on a strong footing.
     - Data gathered by MNI from major auto manufacturers suggests auto sales
were sluggish in the month, suggesting some downside risk for the headline
number.
--MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email: kevin.kastner@marketnews.com
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email: alexandra.kelley@marketnews.com
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email: brooke.migdon@marketnews.com
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