Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
  Retail sales increased 0.1% in April, up 6.4% versus a year ago
Posted Under: Data Watch • Retail Sales
Supporting Image for Blog Post

Implications:  The headline numbers for retail sales in April were tepid, with overall sales and sales excluding autos up only 0.1% each.  However, the details of the report were much stronger than the headlines.  Stripping out the most volatile parts of the report – autos, building materials, and gas – sales were up 0.4% in April and 0.5% including upward revisions for prior months.  Even including those volatile categories, sales increased for the 21st time in the past 22 months, a remarkably consistent upward trend.  Compared to a year ago, retail sales are up 6.4%, but the growth has accelerated lately, up at a 7.7% annual rate in the past three months.  Notice that all these gains continue to outstrip inflation.  Adjusted for the consumer price index, retail sales are up a robust 4% in the past year.  Upward revisions to retail sales for prior months suggest real consumer spending (including services) increased at a 3% annual rate in Q1.  With two more months to go, it looks like real consumer spending is growing at about a 2.5% rate in Q2.  Mixing this data with today's report on inventories suggests later this month Q1 real GDP will show a downward revision to a growth rate of 1.8%.  The original report for Q1 had a growth rate of 2.2%, but, since then, inventories have been revised downward.  Although these negative revisions will probably grab some headlines, it's important to remember that lower inventories today mean faster production growth in future quarters.  In other news this morning, the NAHB Homebuilders index, a measure of confidence, increased to 29 in May from 24 in April.  Confidence among homebuilders is now the highest in five years, another sign that the recovery in housing is gaining traction. 

Click here for a PDF version.
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 10:38 AM • Post Link Share: 
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.
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 © 2022 All rights reserved.