US: Feb retail sales likely to print 0.4% - Westpac

Analysts at Westpac expect US retail sales to print 0.4% for February after they were a major disappointment in January, recording the weakest outcome in 11 months as households cut back on auto purchases and building materials.

Key Quotes

“A downward revision was also made to the December outcome, exaggerating the weakness.”

“It is worth noting that, excluding these more volatile items, core retail sales were also soft, a flat outcome in January following a revised 0.2% decline in December. Coming at a time of strong confidence and employment growth, the outcomes jar with the market's strong narrative.”

“Come February, we anticipate spending will pick up. However, at less than 5% annualised, it is an outcome best regarded as solid not strong. For consumption to accelerate further, wage inflation will have to strengthen across the economy and confidence hold up.”

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