Analysts at Westpac offer a sneak peek at what to expect from today’s US retail sales data slated for release at 1230 GMT.
“US retail sales have continued to disappoint through Q1 2018. In the February report, a third consecutive negative was recorded for total sales.
It is certainly the case that one-off factors have been at play: auto sales continue to come back to a more normal level after their hurricane-induced spike in late 2017; also abnormally cold weather in February weighed on gasoline and store sales as consumers stayed home. However, a surge back in Mar is highly unlikely.
Evident in the income and savings data in recent months is that real wages growth (excluding the tax cuts) remains soft, and household savings low versus history. These restrictions on spending are unlikely to abate anytime soon. As such, we look for continued modest gains for spending through 2018 - circa 0.4% for headline sales in March, and 0.2% for core.”
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