US Retail Sales July 2013 Preview: Data To Reveal Heath Of The Consumer & Economy [VIDEO]

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Nordstrom tight 2
Shoppers at Nordstrom.

Peter P. Costa, president of Empire Executions Inc., spoke with the International Business Times at the New York Stock Exchange about this week’s economic calendar, including retail sales data for the month of July on Tuesday, the Consumer Price Index on Thursday and housing starts on Friday.

“I think the most important thing is the PPI [Producer Price Index] and the CPI,” Costa said. “I think we’re going to start seeing some inflationary pressure, and I think you’re going to start seeing it with these two sets of numbers coming out.”

Economists polled by Bloomberg expect retail sales for the month of July to rise 0.3 percent month-on-month, compared with a 0.4 percent gain in June. Retail sales excluding autos, gasoline and building materials are forecast to increase by 0.4 percent in July. Economists are forecasting a 0.2 percent month-on-month increase in the Consumer Price Index last month.

“I think the housing data coming out of Friday is going to be significant as well,” Costa added.

Housing starts are estimated to increase in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 900,000 units, compared to a 836,000 unit rate in June, according to Bloomberg.

“I think we were looking for a pretty muted growth phase. Second quarter wasn’t supposed to be that great, and it wasn’t bad,” Costa said.

Although second quarter earnings season is beginning to wind down, it is just heating up for retail earnings, as Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) and Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS) report quarterly results this week.

Costa discussed corporate earning thus far during the second quarter, and how future growth looks heading into the third quarter.

“I think the numbers came out a little bit better than expected, and I think some of the earnings guidance going forward was pretty positive too,” said Costa. “If that all pans out, then the third quarter should be pretty good.”

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