US Consumer Holding UP

US Retail Sales rose in April at the slowest pace of the year, showing unseasonably mild weather and pre-Easter shopping may have pulled consumers to stores the prior month.

The 0.1 percent gain followed a 0.7 percent increase in March, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected an advance of 0.1 percent, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Categories like building materials, clothing and department stores dropped in April as the weather-induced gains of the first three months of 2012, the warmest on record, faded. Weaker employment growth will probably also make it more difficult for households to match last quarter’s pace of spending, which was the fastest in more than a year.

“The consumer is holding up,” said Neil Dutta , an economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York who correctly forecast the sales gain. “The key thing here is to determine to what extent the weather had an effect, and it’s pretty clear if you look at the components there was some weather impact.”

The cost of living was little changed in April as fuel prices dropped, and manufacturing in the New York region expanded this month at a faster pace than projected, other reports showed.

Bloomberg

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell