Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Retail sales see varying gains in March, says Commerce and NRF data

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross shown at a business summit in Peru says he is vastly outpacing the Obama administration's anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases Retail sales see varying gains in March, says Commerce and NRF data
Nellie Chapman | 16 April, 2018, 22:34

Sales at non-store retailers grew 9.7 percent year-on-year, led by sound rises in online shopping.

USA retail and food services sales in March came in at $494.6 billion, for an increase of 0.6 percent compared with February, the Census Bureau reported on Monday.

Economists are expecting a bounce back in the March data via a +0.4% m/m reading and +0.3% on the control group.

Electronics and appliance stores were up 1.6% year-over-year and up 0.5% from February seasonally adjusted.

Home furnishings store sales grew to $9.93 billion, up from a revised $9.55 billion in March of previous year, the U.S. Department of Commerce said.

Eight of 13 major retail categories showed increases. Excluding both autos and gasoline, sales rose 0.3 per cent. The 0.3% sequential increase from February to March was ahead of the 0.2% gain from January to February, as well as the 4.3% annual jump in February.

Economists largely blame the weakness in retail sales at the start of the year on delays in processing tax refunds.

Personal consumption and retail spending had disappointed analysts in recent months, feeding expectations the United States economy will see slower growth in the first quarter of the year.

The increase followed a 0.1 percent drop in February, which was the third of three consecutive months of decline. It is expected to have slowed to below a 1.5 percent rate of increase in the first quarter. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, grew at a robust 4.0 percent annualised rate in the fourth quarter.

Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 6.1% year-over-year but down 0.8% from February seasonally adjusted.