US: Recovering retail sales underline positive consumer story – ING

James Knightley, Chief International Economist at ING, notes that the March reading for US retail sales has come in slightly better than expected, rebounding 0.6%MoM versus the consensus 0.4% forecast.

Key Quotes

“Sales in February (-0.1%) were held back by delays to the distribution of tax refunds. However, they have since been disbursed and clearly supported spending in today’s report, especially for big-ticket items such as autos (+2%Mom) and furniture (+0.7%).”

“Excluding some of the more volatile items, the “control” group, which better matches consumer spending within GDP, rose 0.4%MoM. This was in line with expectations.”

“Overall, consumer spending has been disappointing in 1Q18, which is partially weather-related, but today’s report suggests the slowdown was transitory. We remain upbeat for the coming months.”