What I Saw Last Week
U.S. Retail Sales increased 0.9% in March after declining an upwardly revised 0.5% (from -0.6%) in February – I had called for a drop of 0.5%. Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales increased 0.4% in March after an upward revision left sales flat (from -0.1%) in February. I had expected to see a contraction of 0.1%.
This report took me by surprise!A significant portion of the increase in March sales was the result of a rebound in motor vehicle demand. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers increased 2.7% in March after declining 2.1% in February.
Sales were pretty strong across the board, but not strong enough to warrant that the entire weakness in February was the result of inclement weather conditions. Overall income levels increased pretty significantly in the first quarter, and the March retail sales report showed that consumers still preferred savings…
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