Dollar Mixed Ahead Of US Retail Sales

Dollar Mixed Ahead Of US Retail Sales

With auto sales rebounding strongly, the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing retail sales in the USA increased by more than anticipated in the month of March. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4 percent.

Auto sales gained two per cent, the biggest increase in six months. Total retail sales in the first quarter of 2018 were up as well, by 4.1 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017.

Excluding the volatile auto sector, sales were up 0.2 per cent, matching an analyst forecast and the same increase recorded in February.

Economists saw a limited impact on retail sales for now from a recent ebb in consumer sentiment, citing a robust labour market, which is steadily pushing up wage growth.

The March results build on improvement seen in February, which was up 0.2 percent over January and 4.3 percent year over year. Gasoline Stations were up 9.7% from March 2017, while Nonstore Retailers were up 9.7% from a year ago.

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Last month's pick-up in core retail sales did little to change expectations of a sharp slowdown in consumer spending in the first quarter.

"We remain upbeat for the coming months", he added.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of USA economic activity, grew at a robust 4.0 percent annualised rate in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, sales dropped at building material & garden equipment supplies dealers, clothing and accessories stores and sporting goods hobby, books and music. The survey's measure of future business conditions dropped to a more than two-year low.

"This is a healthy spending report despite market volatility, unseasonable weather and uncertain economic policies", NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement.

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