March Retail Sales At 0.4%, Below Expectations, Down From 1.1% In February; Ex-Autos And Gas Slightly Better

Tyler Durden's picture

March retail sales which came at 0.4%, below expectations of 0.5%, and down from an upward revised 1.1% February, confirm that the economy in Q1 slowed down materially toward the end, and was certainly not as hot as had been predicted early in 2011. This was the lowest improvement since June 2010. The number was offset by the "ex autos and gas" number which came at 0.6%, better than expected, although with ever more capital being diverted to gas purchases this is cold comfort to those who have to use gas. The biggest weakness was in auto sales which dropped by a substantial 1.7%. Retail sales increased a modest 0.3% (and retail and food total up 0.4%). Gasoline stations saw another sizable increase of 2.6% sequentially and 16.7% from a year earlier. Food and beverage stores were among the weakest posting just a 0.1% increase in March.

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GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Start your day with a heavy metal beat, comrades!


augie's picture

I wake up to this every morning.

1.4 million Ruskies can't be wrong.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

But, but... the economy is recovering how can retail sales not be up?!

Sudden Debt's picture

yes... I even thought that now the BDI is dropping for weeks again that all was going to get better...

What does amaze is that retail figures actually go down while inflation keeps picking up.

That means retail sales is down 10 to 12% volume based!





GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Start your day with a heavy metal beat, comrades!


topcallingtroll's picture

In the hotel lobby the guys just changed it to the sports channel.

There are a lot of lemmings, sheeple, etc who wont even notice if there were a default, or a radiation leak.

The two greatest sports in the world are pussy and speculation. I feel sorry for people who are transfixed by the stanley cup finals.

I am Jobe's picture

You aniled it sheeples would rather ignore the world and not worry about the crap going on. No wonder USA is f'd up more so than ever. Watch as the banksters loot in a faster pace and raid the 401K's. Hope and change, and American Idol and Oprah to keep the maasses occupied in the USA.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

20% miss. No matter futures rally more.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Does not matter.  The economy now runs on QE(x)

Josh Randall's picture

I demand a RE-COUNT!

X. Kurt OSis's picture

Inflation is good for sheep.

BTFD bitchez.

topcallingtroll's picture

You are right about inflation being.good for sheep in small doses.

I have seen a.few of your comments. For a paranoid whacko you brought up a couple of points i hadnt considered.

Now something.for you. Is japan going to be able to buy their share of treasurys? Treasurys are priced with the assumption japan will continue to buy in a big way.

SheepDog-One's picture

Everything assumes total double rainbows and unicorn dew enemas priced in to infinity. 

X. Kurt OSis's picture

Sorry I missed this.  That's a tough one.  I don't exactly see how treasuries are specifically pricing in continued buying from Japan.  What I can say is that if we look at the progression of the curve from a year ago, we are maybe 30 basis points lower across the curve on a y-o-y basis.  The move across the entire treasury complex came and went with QE2 and was basically a round trip.  As I look at it, nothing is priced in today that wasn't priced in a year ago (before QE2).  I've never really thought about how much Japanese demand influences prices, but consensus seems to think a wave of repatriation is going to start, but bond prices are higher.

My initial reaction to the Fed's announcement to intervene in yen appreciation versus the dollar was that, BOJ effectively picks up the torch on QE (the Fed becomes a net seller of yen, BOJ buys dollars and increases their marginal purchases via the Fed. In a sense we are right now compelling BOJ to buy more treasuries, which might be why the latest auction was pretty well bid with an uptick in foreign non-direct participation).  If that intuition is right, the Japanese buy more treasuries cause we effectively are  forcing them to.  So saving Japan becomes a convenient way to keep QE'ing without the Fed getting criticized for their crazy policy.

I hope you spot this, cause I wouldn't mind debating this further.


The paranoid whacko.

digitlman's picture

Retail sales rise 0.4% in March, aided by strength in home furnishing and gasoline sales, the government says.

Thanks for the spin,!



earlthepearl's picture

F-ing gasoline sales??

$5 a gallon, bullish, increased gas sales

DavidC's picture

Presumably this is in Dollar terms and not volume terms?


undercover brother's picture

Retail sales reports are a joke.  People aren't buying more, they are just paying more!

SheepDog-One's picture

And the futures go WILD! 

virgilcaine's picture

Bernank thought QE would 'jump start the Economy', get the sheep into taking on more debt.  Didn't happen. Just a mad burst of speculation which ends badly.

DispenzPez's picture

Sheep to Wolf:  BUY!, BUY!, BUY!???

Wolf to Sheep: No...BYE!, BYE!, BYE!

oogs66's picture

retail sales less gas up 0.1%?   no inflation here.   The entire increase in sales was at the gas pump! QE3 baby!

unclebigs's picture

But I thought food prices were skyrocketing?  So Americans have slashed their food intake and are now rapidly losing weight?  LMFAO!!!!!!



DispenzPez's picture

Any weight loss is from a newly discovered eating disorder:

Dolaris Pukeus Inflatiorexia

FDA is looking at the phase 3 trial-data curative (it's a daily pill you know), & Goldman is underwriting the IPO for the new startup. 

I am Jobe's picture

man these guys spin the news. Lies Lies and more lies. Making Nazi Germany propoganda looking real.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

This string of propaganda would suprise even Goebbels.

TexDenim's picture

It's a riot watching the Hi-Fi babble on CNBC about a statistic that jumps around so much. These numbers only have meaning on a moving average basis.

writingsonthewall's picture

Quelle surprise!

Q1 results introduced at the end of Q1 to big trumpet fanfare.

...quietly downgraded over the following weeks to something more beffitting a fanfare of smelly fart.


This happens all the time - I don't know why people even bother with the intial results. This also happened in the 1930's - albeit with less sophisticated means - and it didn't work then either!

I think they believe that if they can persuade us the recovery is here - then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I call that a 'confidence trick'.


However the powers at be are counting on the 'next' quarter to distract us from the 'last' quarter - as they have done throughout this crisis.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Gee, I wonder if grocery and gas sales 'beat' (as anemic as they did, of headline numbers aren't further winnowed down) because of higher prices paid, although on lower volume.

A gallon of gas is 30% to 40% higher than a year ago, so sales could theoretically rise with a massive drop in inventories paid for.

And in the continuing theme, the things one needs and don't necessarily use credit for suck wind, while the things one doesn't necessarily need daily and most often pull out the credit for...



Gee, I wonder....I wonder...