Breaking: US Retail Sales increase 0.2% in June vs. 0.5% anticipated

Retail Sales in the US rose 0.2% on a monthly basis in June to $689.5 billion, the data published by US Census Bureau showed on Tuesday. This reading came in below the market expectation for an increase of 0.5%. On a positive note, the 0.3% growth recorded in May got revised higher to 0.5%.

Retail Sales Ex-Autos rose 0.2% in the same period, compared to analysts' estimate of 0.3%.

"Total sales for the April 2023 through June 2023 period were up 1.6% (±0.4 percent) from the same period a year ago," the US Census Bureau further noted in its press release. "Retail trade sales were up 0.2% (±0.5 percent) from May 2023, and up 0.5% (±0.5 percent) above last year."

Market reaction

The US Dollar Index edged slightly higher with the initial reaction but remained below 100.00. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield stays in negative territory below 3.8% and US stock index futures trade modestly lower on the day.

Economic Indicator

United States Retail Sales (MoM)

The Retail Sales released by the US Census Bureau measure the total receipts of retail stores. Monthly percent changes reflect the rate of changes in such sales. Changes in Retail Sales are widely followed as an indicator of consumer spending. Generally speaking, a high reading is seen as positive (or bullish) for the USD, while a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).

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Next release: 08/15/2023 12:30:00 GMT

Frequency: Monthly

Source: US Census Bureau

Why it matters to traders

Retail Sales data published by the US Census Bureau is a leading indicator that gives important information about consumer spending, which has a significant impact on the GDP. Although strong sales figures are likely to boost the USD, external factors, such as weather conditions, could distort the data and paint a misleading picture. In addition to the headline data, changes in the Retail Sales Control Group could trigger a market reaction as it is used to prepare the estimates of Personal Consumption Expenditures for most goods.

This section below was published at 06:00 GMT as a preview of the US Retail Sales report.

  • US Census Bureau will publish the June Retail Sales report on Tuesday, July 18.
  • United States Retail Sales are expected to rise by 0.5% after unexpectedly increasing in May.
  • The continued uptick in auto sales to boost US Retail Sales, fueling a US Dollar relief rally.

Retail Sales data in the United States (US) will be published by the Census Bureau on Tuesday, July 18. The June headline Retail Sales figure is expected to see another increase after unexpectedly rising in May. Note that the Retail Sales data is adjusted for seasonality but not for inflation.

The United States Dollar (USD) has been struggling near the lowest level in 15 months after last week’s soft United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) reports, which revived expectations that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

The US Retail Sales report could have a significant impact on the Fed interest rate expectations and, in turn, on the US Dollar’s valuation, as there is a lack of high-impact US economic data this week and the Fed’s ‘blackout period’ has started ahead of the July 25-26 FOMC meeting.

What to expect in the June US Retail Sales report?

The headline Retail Sales are seen rising 0.5% MoM in June, compared with a 0.3% growth seen in May. Excluding autos, Core Retail Sales are likely to have risen 0.3% in June, compared with a 0.1% increase registered in May. US Retail Sales Control Group is expected to increase 0.4%, courtesy of the growth in online sales.  

Economists expect auto sales to contribute to the increase in the retail volume last month. Rapid growth in sales in bars/restaurants is also seen adding to the headline retail sales figure. However, slowing fuel sales could pose a downside risk.

According to analysts at BBH, “June retail sales Tuesday will be the data highlight.  Consensus sees headline sales up 0.5% m/m, ex-auto up 0.4%, and the so-called control group used for GDP calculations up 0.4%. We note that markets should not just rely on retail sales data to gauge the strength of the consumer, as it only covers goods. Personal spending covers services as well and will give a much fuller picture, but the June reading won’t be reported until July 28 along with PCE data.” 

When will US June Retail Sales data be released and how can it affect EUR/USD?

The US Retail Sales data for June is due to be published at 12:30 GMT on Tuesday. With the US Dollar wallowing in multi-month lows heading into the data release, the EUR/USD pair is holding firmer above the 1.1200 mark. Stronger-than-expected US Retail Sales data could revive the US Dollar bulls, triggering a brief correction in the main currency pair ahead of next week’s Fed and European Central Bank (ECB) policy announcements.

On the other hand, disappointing Retail Sales details are likely to rekindle recession fears while bolstering the market’s expectations of a probable Fed rate hike pause after the expected 25 bps July rate increase. At the moment, markets are pricing in an 83% chance of the Federal Reserve holding rates at the current level in September.

The data-led weakness in the US Dollar, however, could be limited due to increased safe-haven demand on economic growth concerns.

Meanwhile, Dhwani Mehta, Asian Session Lead Analyst at FXStreet, offers a brief technical outlook for the major and explains: “The 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is holding well within the overbought territory, suggesting that a correction is in the offing. However, any pullback in the EUR/USD pair could be seen as a good dip-buying opportunity.”

Dhwani also outlines important technical levels to trade the EUR/USD pair: “On the upside, Euro buyers aim for the 1.1270 static resistance should the 1.1250 level hold. Meanwhile, acceptance above the 1.1300 round figure is critical to unleashing additional upside. Alternatively, immediate support awaits at the previous day’s low of 1.1203, below which a sharp sell-off toward the 1.1150 psychological barrier will be on the cards.”

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