Home Logon FTA Investment Managers Blog Subscribe About Us Contact Us

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
  Retail Sales Rose 0.1% in February
Posted Under: Data Watch • Retail Sales
Supporting Image for Blog Post


Implications:  There should be no doubt the Fed is going to raise rates today.  Retail sales rose 0.1%, matching consensus expectations.  But, including revisions to January, sales rose a healthy 0.4%.  Overall retail sales are now up 5.7% in the past year, and we expect that trend to stick.  Sales are up at a 7.2% annual rate in the past six months and a 7.0% rate in the past three months.  Although the gain in sales in February was not very broad-based – only four of thirteen major categories showed growth – it came despite a delay in tax refunds this year as the IRS puts more effort into checking for fraud related to the earned-income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC).  As a result, expect stronger numbers in the months ahead as these delayed tax refunds come in.  "Core" sales, which exclude autos, building materials, and gas, were unchanged in February, but were up 0.4% including revisions to prior months.  Core sales are now up 3.9% from a year ago, but appear to be accelerating, with the three-month annualized change rising at a 4.4% rate.  Job growth continues, nominal wage gains are accelerating, and consumer debt service obligations are very low by historical standards.  In other news this morning, the Empire State index, a measure of manufacturing sentiment in New York, declined to +16.4 in March from +18.7 in February.  Besides last month, 16.4 is the best reading since 2014, signaling continued improvement in the factory sector. 

Click here for PDF version

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 10:31 AM • Post Link Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
Follow First Trust:  
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.