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 Rose 0.3% in April
Posted Under: Data Watch • Retail Sales

 

Implications: Broad based gains pushed retail sales higher in April, while prior month data saw upward revisions as well.  Nine of thirteen major categories moved higher in April, led by non-store retailers and gasoline stations (thanks in part to gasoline prices hitting the highest levels since late 2014), while clothing and accessory stores saw their largest monthly gain in more than a year. Retail sales are up a healthy 4.7% from a year ago, and up 4.8% in the past year excluding auto sales.  So while we saw modest consumer spending growth last quarter - rising 1.1% in Q1, the slowest pace for any quarter in nearly five years - that had more to do with the timing of economic growth than the trend.  And today's report shows the pace of consumer spending is on the rise to start the second quarter.  With extra cash in consumers' pockets thanks to tax-cuts, we remain very optimistic about an acceleration of growth in 2018 and still expect growth of 3.0%+ for the year, which would be the best since 2005.  As we get back to normal, expect overall retail sales to continue the trend higher in the months to come.  Why are we optimistic about retail sales growth in the months ahead?  Jobs and wages are moving up, tax cuts are taking effect, consumers' financial obligations are less than average relative to incomes, and serious (90+ day) debt delinquencies are down substantially from post-recession highs.  Put it all together, and the outlook for the consumer looks bright.  In other news this morning, the Empire State index, a measure of manufacturing sentiment in New York, rose to a very healthy 20.1 in May from 15.8 in April, signaling growing optimism in the region.

Click here for PDF version

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 @ 10:13 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 and the Internal Revenue Code. First Trust has no knowledge of and has not been provided any information regarding any investor. Financial advisors must determine whether particular investments are appropriate for their clients. First Trust believes the financial advisor is a fiduciary, is capable of evaluating investment risks independently and is responsible for exercising independent judgment with respect to its retirement plan clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA.
First Trust Advisors L.P.
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.