Retail, Consumer Credit Data on Tuesday's Economic Calendar

by: optionMONSTER

By Bryan McCormick

In a quiet week for economic releases, there are three reports today. Two of those are the regular weekly retail sales surveys, and the other is consumer credit.

The weekly ICSC/Goldman Store Sales report will be released at 7:45 a.m. ET. There are two parts to the report, the week-over-week and year-over-year changes. Most traders focus on the year-over-year number because it is a better indicator of the longer-term trend.

The last week-over-week change came in at 0.4 percent. The year-over-year data in the previous report showed a gain of 2.8 percent. Stronger-than-expected positive numbers would be seen as bullish, while negative numbers would be bearish.

The weekly Redbook Store Sales will be reported at 8:55 a.m. ET. As with the ICSC-Goldman report, there are two components to watch: the more volatile month-over-month change and the year-over-year reading, which shows the broader trend best.

The last month-over-month change was -2.7 percent. The previous report's year-over-year data showed a gain of 3.6 percent. Negative numbers in either series would be bearish.

Consumer Credit will be released at 3 p.m. ET. The consensus forecast calls for credit to come in at a month-over-month change of $5.3 billion. The estimates range from $2 billion to $8 billion.

The willingness of consumers to take on debt is seen as a positive for future spending trends. Negative changes in month-over-month credit can signal a slowdown in spending. That trend was last seen from March 2008 and did not rebound significantly until June 2010.

Unless the number shows a negative change or comes close to one, the report may not have a great deal of impact.