Consumers take April off

US Retail Sales April 2014

Consumers spent less than economists had presumed during April, while the amount they spent during March was more than thought at first. Shopper reduced spending in eight of 13 segments lowering outlays on electronics and furniture items, which are amongst the smallest of those groups. Elsewhere, they spent less on dining out and on miscellaneous items while online and print-response sales also suffered. The headline gain of 0.1% was well below the forecast increase of 0.4%.

Prior month data was revised from an increase of 1.1% to 1.5%. During April consumption excluding autos and parts was unchanged on the prior month, while stripping out sales at gasoline stations saw overall sales weaken by 0.1%. The  so-called ‘Control Group’, which measures sales less autos, gas, building materials and food items, and is used to calculate GDP, fell by 0.1% last month setting the major component of growth off on a poor-footing for the second quarter. The report has blown away some of the earlier enthusiasm surrounding the NFIB small business report with futures retreating(CME:ESM14) from indicating a strong opening gain back to the flat-line.

 

Chart – Food and beverage sales rose, dollars spent dining out fell

 

About the Author
Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school. Andrew re-joins Interactive Brokers following a two-year stretch at a major Wall Street broker-dealer as their Chief Economic Strategist. His coverage of stocks, options, futures, forex and bonds regularly surfaces in global media, and over the last several years Andrew has made many TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC and BNN and Yahoo Finance.

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