Lower US Retail Sales Casts Doubt on Economic Recovery

U.S. retail sales barely rose in April, tempering hopes of a sharp acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales edged up 0.1 percent last month, held back by declines in receipts at furniture, electronic and appliance stores, restaurants and bars and online retailers.

Retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, rose by a revised 1.5 percent in March. That was the largest increase since March 2010 and reflected pent-up demand after a brutally cold winter.

Economists had forecast sales advancing 0.4 percent last month after a previously reported 1.2 percent surge in March.

U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on the data, while the dollar trimmed gains versus the euro.

“You really had a spectacular March. You are now having an April hangover … The reality of the economy is decent but not great. Some people over-extrapolated the March numbers,” said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza