At 20:30 on Friday night (May 14), the monthly retail sales rate for April, known as the “scary data”, recorded 0%, lower than the expected 1%, excluding auto sales recorded -0.8%, the previous value was revised down to 9.7%.
The decline in the data was mainly affected by the base effect. the relief checks issued in the U.S. in March boosted people’s spending power, and the monthly retail sales rate climbed sharply last month as a result. However, the Bank of America’s prediction was also partially fulfilled, after the bank said the data would not look good and was expected to register -0.9%.
After the data was released, spot gold and silver moved higher in the short term and then quickly retreated, with the most active gold futures contract on the COMEX instantly trading 2,169 lots on the buying and selling board in one minute, trading contracts worth a total of $398 million. But since then gold prices again shocked upward, up nearly 0.8%. The dollar index also weakened as a result of the weaker data.
It is worth noting that the monthly Canadian wholesale sales rate released at the same time was strong, recording 2.8%, much higher than the previous 1%, which led to a weaker dollar against the Canadian dollar, down 0.24% in the short term.
Sales in eight of the 13 retail categories declined in April, with clothing stores posting the largest decline and retail sales at restaurants and auto dealers rising. Auto dealer sales rose $68.5 billion to $129.9 billion from a year earlier. Excluding food services, auto dealers, building materials and gas station sales data, the U.S. retail sales “control group” fell 1.5% from a year earlier.
Although the “scary data” is not as scary as expected, but the CPI data released on Wednesday hit a 13-year high, the PPI data released on Thursday continued to exceed expectations, these data all together illustrate a truth – inflationary pressures are rising.
However, the Fed governor Meister soon came out to state that the Fed’s policy is in “good shape” and now is the time to wait and see, not the time to adjust policy. The Fed wants to see inflation rise and stay above 2%.
Consumer purchasing power is declining, the cost of producers is rising, the purchasing power of the dollar has now fallen to the lowest point in nearly a century, and is still breaking records.
Inflation is climbing, but employment, the Fed’s main concern, is moving slowly, leaving little time for the Fed to discuss. The non-farm payrolls data released last month performed very poorly. And many U.S. companies are also experiencing job openings. Difficult hiring means higher wages, and higher wages add to cost pressures on businesses.
U.S. retail sales stalled in April after rising sharply the month before, when epidemic relief allowed millions of Americans to expand their spending power, agencies said. total retail sales reached a record $619.9 billion in April, supporting economists’ expectations for strong household spending for the rest of the year.
As concerns about the epidemic dissipate, consumers may begin to shift more toward spending on services such as entertainment and travel, and increased savings supported by fiscal stimulus should support retail demand.
Despite the weaker-than-expected data, financial blog Zero Hedge says U.S. retail sales are generally “above average trend” thanks to the trillion-dollar stimulus package. In other words, the U.S. has returned to a five-year average of retail sales growth since the outbreak began, thanks to the stimulus measures.