April Retail Sales Much Better Than Expected; Could GDP Be Better?


Retail sales rose more than expected in the month of April. The Commerce Department reported that overall sales rose by 0.1%, and ex-autos they fell by 0.1%. Bloomberg was calling for a drop on the headline retail sales data of 0.3% and Dow Jones was calling for a drop of 0.4%.

Note that March saw a downward revision to -0.5% for the headline retail sales, and this makes today's report look even stronger. With retail sales and consumer spending accounting for close to 70% of gross domestic product, this is getting the second quarter off to a better start than most economists were projecting.

Today's seasonally adjusted figure was $419.03 billion, and that was actually up 3.7% from a year ago in retail and food services. The decline in gasoline station spending was a sharp 4.7%, the largest one-month drop in what appeared to be at least four years. Other gains were seen in online spending, automobiles and building materials.

Stocks did tick up after the headlines dropped on the wires, but the markets are still short of positive to start off this week. DJIA futures are down 20 points to 15,048 and S&P futures are down 2.50 at 1,627.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Product, Economy Tagged: featured