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Analysts at BMO Capital Markets note that the US retail sales was shockingly weak, with the headline 1.2% drop in December being the largest since September 2009.

Key Quotes

“Something seems off here. One has to wonder, given the big miss by consensus, if the quality of the report was compromised by the shutdown and the rush to get the report out. That holds true for other delayed reports as well. Something to ponder and discuss over a bon-bon.”

“Look for revisions in coming months. The market meltdown in December may have also played a role in consumer psychology. Meantime, this suggests that the word “patience” will be in the Fed’s vernacular for some time.”