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Analysts at Morgan Stanley shed some light on what is expected from Thursday’s US retail sales report slated for release at 1330 GMT.

Key Quotes:

“Based on our primary data, we forecast a 0.3% month-over-month gain in December core retail sales (which we define as retail sales and food services excluding auto dealers, gas stations and home improvement stores). This marks a deceleration from the robust pace of retail sales growth over the past few months but is still consistent with 3.7% real PCE growth in 4Q.

Food services category (i.e. restaurants), where our primary data points to a strong 1.8% jump in sales after a number of weaker readings.”