RETAIL WEAKNESS

April Retail Sales rose 0.4% headline, 0.4% ex-autos and 0.4% ex-autos and gasoline.

Ex auto’s were in line with expectations but headline was 0.2% above and ex-autos and gasoline was 0.1% above (March was revised higher).

Building materials rose by 6.9% after a 7.8% rise in March, motor vehicles/parts rose by 0.5% and gas station sales were up 0.5%.

BUT if you take out building materials, autos and gasoline sales (a core figure), retail sales were DOWN 0.3%.  Sales in clothing, sporting goods, general merchandise, furniture, electronics and in food/beverages all fell.

Thus, on the surface, sales look good but the core figure of ex-autos, gasoline and building materials fell for the first time since Dec ‘09.

Howard Penney
Managing Director