US Retail Sales rise 0.1% in May vs. 0.2% expected


  • Retail Sales in the US rose less than expected in May.
  • US Dollar Index retreated below 105.50 after the data.

Retail Sales in the United States rose 0.1% on a monthly basis in May to $703.1 billion. This reading followed the 0.2% decline recorded in April and came in slightly below the market expectation for an increase of 0.2%.

"Total sales for the March 2024 through May 2024 period were up 2.9% from the same period a year ago," the publication read. "Retail trade sales were up 0.2% from April 2024, and up 2.0% above last year."

Market reaction to US Retail Sales

The immediate reaction to this report caused the US Dollar to weaken against its rivals. The US Dollar Index retreated from daily highs after the data and was last seen flat on the day at 105.35.

US Dollar PRICE Today

The table below shows the percentage change of US Dollar (USD) against listed major currencies today. US Dollar was the weakest against the Swiss Franc.

  USD EUR GBP JPY CAD AUD NZD CHF
USD   0.08% 0.17% 0.06% 0.09% -0.15% 0.31% -0.35%
EUR -0.08%   0.08% -0.02% 0.01% -0.26% 0.24% -0.43%
GBP -0.17% -0.08%   -0.12% -0.07% -0.33% 0.17% -0.52%
JPY -0.06% 0.02% 0.12%   0.04% -0.22% 0.27% -0.43%
CAD -0.09% -0.01% 0.07% -0.04%   -0.25% 0.19% -0.45%
AUD 0.15% 0.26% 0.33% 0.22% 0.25%   0.48% -0.22%
NZD -0.31% -0.24% -0.17% -0.27% -0.19% -0.48%   -0.68%
CHF 0.35% 0.43% 0.52% 0.43% 0.45% 0.22% 0.68%  

The heat map shows percentage changes of major currencies against each other. The base currency is picked from the left column, while the quote currency is picked from the top row. For example, if you pick the US Dollar from the left column and move along the horizontal line to the Japanese Yen, the percentage change displayed in the box will represent USD (base)/JPY (quote).

US Dollar FAQs

The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States of America, and the ‘de facto’ currency of a significant number of other countries where it is found in circulation alongside local notes. It is the most heavily traded currency in the world, accounting for over 88% of all global foreign exchange turnover, or an average of $6.6 trillion in transactions per day, according to data from 2022. Following the second world war, the USD took over from the British Pound as the world’s reserve currency. For most of its history, the US Dollar was backed by Gold, until the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971 when the Gold Standard went away.

The most important single factor impacting on the value of the US Dollar is monetary policy, which is shaped by the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed has two mandates: to achieve price stability (control inflation) and foster full employment. Its primary tool to achieve these two goals is by adjusting interest rates. When prices are rising too quickly and inflation is above the Fed’s 2% target, the Fed will raise rates, which helps the USD value. When inflation falls below 2% or the Unemployment Rate is too high, the Fed may lower interest rates, which weighs on the Greenback.

In extreme situations, the Federal Reserve can also print more Dollars and enact quantitative easing (QE). QE is the process by which the Fed substantially increases the flow of credit in a stuck financial system. It is a non-standard policy measure used when credit has dried up because banks will not lend to each other (out of the fear of counterparty default). It is a last resort when simply lowering interest rates is unlikely to achieve the necessary result. It was the Fed’s weapon of choice to combat the credit crunch that occurred during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. It involves the Fed printing more Dollars and using them to buy US government bonds predominantly from financial institutions. QE usually leads to a weaker US Dollar.

Quantitative tightening (QT) is the reverse process whereby the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds from financial institutions and does not reinvest the principal from the bonds it holds maturing in new purchases. It is usually positive for the US Dollar.

 

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