US: A strong start of the year for retail sales - Wells Fargo

According to analysts from Wells Fargo, today’s US retail sales data reinforces their view that consumer demand will remain the pillar for economic growth during 2017. 

Key Quotes: 

“Retail sales as well as personal consumption expenditures (PCE) have been relatively weak during each first quarter of the year since the recovery from the Great Recession, looking only relatively strong in the face of an even weaker performance from the rest of the components of GDP during the same period of time. In fact, if it were not for the U.S. consumer, the U.S. economy’s weak performance would have been even worse than it has been so far.”

“This much better than expected result for retail sales to start this year is going to add some credence and support to the strong recovery in consumer confidence we have seen since the presidential election. This could reinforce our view that consumer demand will remain the pillar for economic growth during this year and would probably remain strong next year if some of the tax reduction proposals from the new administration come to fruition.”

“Very weak automobile sales kept the retail sales report from being a true eye opening report at the start of the year. Motor vehicle and part dealers’ sales were down 1.4 percent in January while miscellaneous store retailers’ sales were down 0.2 percent to close the segments of retail that saw a decline during the first month of the year.”