Another string of lower than expected releases
And 2nd quarter nowcasts are showing about the same as Q1 no bounce yet.
Auto sales have a high import component. Note that reports of domestic wholesale auto output and sales have been lower than expected. And note year over year growth decline, though some of that is lower fuel prices. But of course the lower fuel prices were presumed to translate into higher sales elsewhere…
Weather effects may be fading with healthy sales numbers in March. Retail sales in March rebounded 0.9 percent after dropping 0.5 percent in February. The market consensus for March was for a 1.1 percent boost. Excluding autos, sales gained 0.4 percent, following no change in February. Expectations were for a 0.6 percent increase. Gasoline sales dipped 0.6 percent after 2.3 percent increase in February. Excluding both autos and gasoline sales rebounded 0.5 percent after declining 0.3 percent in February. Expectations were for a 0.4 percent increase.
By components, strength was seen in motor vehicles (up 2.7 percent), furniture, clothing, department stores, and miscellaneous store retailers.
On a year-ago basis, retail trade and food service were up 1.3 percent in March, compared to 1.9 percent in February.