According to National Bank of Canada’s analyst, Krishen Rangasamy, the message from today’s US retail sales report is that after a difficult start to the year, American consumers are now bouncing back.

Key Quotes:

“What impressed most about March’s results was not just the monthly increase of 1.6% (best since September 2017) but also the broad-based nature of gains. Autos led the charge for retailers with a 3.1% increase, more than erasing declines in the prior two months. But excluding autos, sales were also strong (+1.2%) with contributions from almost every broad category. Non-store sales, which include online retailers, continue to outperform.”

“The share of non-store sales in total retail sales jumped to a record 11.8% in the first quarter of 2019. In other words, brick and mortar stores are underperforming. And that’s having negative repercussions on retail employment whose share of private non-farm payrolls sank to 12.3% in Q1, the lowest since 1967.”

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