Retail Sales (March 2013)
Retail Sales – Month/Month -0.4%. Previous was +1.0%.
Retail Sales less autos – Month/Month -0.4%. Previous was +1.0%.
Less Autos & Gas – Month/Month -0.1%. Previous was +0.4%.
Consumer Spending is the largest part of GDP and Consumer Spending is flat. This is indicative of continued slow growth in jobs and deficits which, while lower that the past few years, are massive by historic standards.
PPI (March 2013)
PPI – Month/Month -0.6%
PPI -Year/Year +1.1%
PPI Core (less food & energy) – Month/Month +0.2%
PPI Core (less food & energy) – Year/Year +1.7%
Individuals are affected by higher prices for food and fuel but those prices are bouncy and distort the larger picture. Attention should be paid, as always, to the less volatile core PPI which is rather tame.
Business Inventories (February 2013)
Inventories – Month/Month +0.1%. Previous was +0.1%.
This is another GDP component. This show inventory growth turning down the month before consumer spending turned down.
Consumer Sentiment (April 2013)
Sentiment Index 72.3. Previous months were 78.6, 71.8, 76.3 and 75.0.
Consumer Sentiment is supposed to measure predisposition to spend.