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The effects of weather on retail sales

Martha Starr ()

No 2000-08, Finance and Economics Discussion Series from Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)

Abstract: Monthly fluctuations in consumer spending are often attributed to the weather. This paper presents a model in which weather affects the productivity of time in nonmarket activities (such as shopping or recreation), and so, via time and budget constraints, may induce substitution in spending across goods and over time. Using monthly data on retail sales and weather data from the National Weather Service, I find that unusual weather has a modest but significant role in explaining monthly sales fluctuations. However, lagged effects often offset original effects, so that weather's influence tends to wash out at a quarterly frequency.

Keywords: Consumption (Economics); Retail trade; Econometric models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ind
Date: 2000
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