Retail Sales Post Modest Beat Despite Ongoing Plunge In Gasoline Sales

Tyler Durden's picture

In keeping with the now constant trend of baffle with BS, since everyone was expecting a weaker advance retail sales print, just like with the BLS report, it was virtually assured that the data would prove everyone wrong. Sure enough, moments ago the Census department announced that headline retail sales rose by 0.1% in April, from a downward revised -0.5% in March, beating expectations of a second decline in a row of -0.3%. Retail sales ex autos were in line with expectations at -0.1%, on expectations of a -0.2% print, but it was the sales number ex-autos and gas which surprised the most, rising 0.6% on expectations of a +0.3% increase, up from a -0.1% decline. Of note: gasoline stations saw a dramatic 4.7% drop in sales, following a 3.2% drop in March: are all US commuters now using Back to the Future type hoverboards or just driving to work in the Tesla Model S?

A breakdown by retail sales category:

But perhaps most notable is that just like every other data point, the magic was in the seasonal adjustment, because the NSA data declined from $427.8 billion to $416.5 billion. And in an econometric model in which now more and more 'experts' agree there is a big problem with the winter to spring seasonal transition, one wonders just how credible not only the April, but the last several month's adjusted accuracy is if indeed the adjustments are not to be trusted?

The chart below shows the March to April change for the past decade on an Adjusted and Non-Adjusted basis. Perhaps there is something to the whole "seasonally adjusting" our way out of trouble in the third worst such monthly transition in the past decade.

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Lost Wages's picture

Dow 160,000 (not a typo)

kliguy38's picture

Baffle with bullshit??? Of course .....we have nothing left to throw at the CONfidence as it ebbs ever rapidly into the sewer of history. The analogy of Chevy Chase putting his chewing gum in the dam as another leaks pops out just as he turns to walk away becomes every more prescient. Most of us will never even get a warning when the dam breaks. We'll just wake up one Monday morning and the Breaking News will be its all closed down

smlbizman's picture

to funny watching the shitbags on cnbs ...making fun of bloomberg....cramer taking a bow for this incredible, awesome, amazing, life changing retail sales do you live without charactor or principles.....or do these asshats consider themselves actors who are just reading scripts?


insanelysane's picture

I am thinking that all government agencies have been told to make "stylistic" changes to all public communiques.

Welcome to the greatest bannana republic in the world.

Welcome to the bastion of freedom and transparency.

new game's picture

long visa mastercard & amex

SheepDog-One's picture

Reading the script, acting, with a gun to their temple.

LooseLee's picture

Actually they are criminals with bulleseyes on their backs...

Headbanger's picture

What's a commuter?

LawsofPhysics's picture

What do world gasoline sales look like?  Just because Americans won't work, doesn't mean the rest of the world isn't still going to get shit done.  In order to ghet anything done, you need energy, period.

Cdad's picture

The collapsing demand for gasoline continues to be a huge tell about the underlying ill health of the US economy.  This has been going on for years now, and the story gets almost no play anywhere.  

It really is too bad that the Ceridian Pulse of Commerce Index is no longer reporting...for if it was, it would be tracking disastrous diesel sales...and momo monkeys would not be chasing the shares of retail company's right here.

Village Smithy's picture

No, no you've got it all wrong. Bloomberg says that gasoline sales are down only because the price of gasoline has dropped. I'm not sure where that has happened but apparently somewhere in "Statisticsville" USA, the price of gas has dropped.

Cdad's picture

You and I know better than this.

BeepBeepImAJeep's picture

Hey, my dad went to college in Statisticsville! Go Fighting Standard Deviations!

SheepDog-One's picture

Whole country stayin at home watchin Oprah waitin for the gubmint check to come in!

CrazyCooter's picture

Google search of ZH images on the subject here:

For those that didn't know, if you include "" in your search phrase, only will be searched.

Couldn't find much of anything on global gasoline sales/production/etc.



Lost Wages's picture

Didn't you know that all the work Americans do is "intagible"? That is why they are going to change how they measure the GDP. Those newly crafted intagibles numbers should be mad bullish for the momo traders.

LawsofPhysics's picture

ah yes, more financial "products" of mass destruction, lovely.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

You need to take into account the thousands of Chevy Volts driving around.  Hell, the parking lot of my office complex is full of them!

Lost Wages's picture

Is your office complex in the middle of a Chevy dealership by chance?

SheepDog-One's picture

lolwut? Certainly the <sarc> button must have malfunctioned....I haven't seen a Chevy Volt around here in months.

digitlman's picture

Good for another 200 pts on the DOW!








W T F II's picture

Sell more naked puts...

mess nonster's picture

Are all US commuters now using Back to the Future type hoverboards or just driving to work in the Tesla Model S?

That's right... you commute to WORK. There's no fucking WORK.

spastic_colon's picture

non pomo day needs some juice

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bingo, yet look, treasuries getting sold, yields climbing, gonna get even more expensive for CONgress/taxpayer.  Stupid fucks/puppets.

22winmag's picture

I wonder where retail would be if it weren't for ammunition and gun sales.

WhiteNight123129's picture


fonzannoon's picture

I wonder when Tyler is going to explain that this move in treasuries is completely about the move in the Yen forcing banks to unwind hedges....

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yields on the ten-year above 1.9% and climbing.  Short them until the government needs to fund it's budget at least.  When's the next debt ceiling going to be breached? LMFAO!

fonzannoon's picture

I hear you Laws. I find it odd disagreeing with you because you are spot on. I am looking at this through the Yen. If it stabilizes I think you see the 10yr head back down. If it keeps selling off or gets disorderly things get very interesting.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Indeed, the unfunded liabilities are still there, making it more expensive to fund these liabilities (rising rates) sure as hell isn't going to help.  You re-structure the debt or you remove (kill?) the liabilities, period.

Fiat Burner's picture

Fonz, can you explain to me your theory on the link between UST yields and the Yen? Is it simply that the Japanese government has less purchasing power to buy UST since the Yen is weakening against the USD?

new game's picture

how can the markets price risk when ben comes in with a bid via pomo?

all fucking bullshit, nothing else. yen is crap buying crap...

LawsofPhysics's picture

Shit, governments (puppets/strongarms of fascists/coroporatists) do not care about purchasing power.

new game's picture

they skim pure profit and bank billions - yA right 365 days of trading desk up days/year.  i could do that in a rigged market.

you could too. just need a federal reserve to back you up in rigged markets. simple easy and wonderfull for the rich mutha fuks gaming the system and fuking the 99.99 percent stuck in this gamed system.  welcome home mates- here is your shit sandwich - EAT UP!

LawsofPhysics's picture

indeed, when the shit sandwiches are no longer avialable (SNAP), then and only then do the guillotines roll, maybe.

fonzannoon's picture

It's all about these bullshit financial products created. Google Power Reverse dual currency note.

Once these products start to go haywire it requires hedging adjustments. In this case, sales of treasuries. How serious it is, and how long it lasts, I wish someone else would takea stab at.

new game's picture

time to take a stab at the heart-the fed reserve...

orangegeek's picture

CME Gasoline looks like it is headed for a long term decline.


Gaming the numbers has been with us for a few years - last gasp.


Let's see how that FOMC "QE wind-down" announcement pans out this week.  US Indexes are down a few poops, so it looks like QE shutdown is bullish.  LMAO.

Mercury's picture

And in an econometric model in which now more and more 'experts' agree there is a big problem with the winter to spring seasonal transition, one wonders just how credible not only the April, but the last several month's adjusted accuracy is if indeed the adjustments are not to be trusted?


If a given month gets a positive boost from a seasonal adjustment doesn’t some other time period have to take the hit? A particular full fiscal year containing seasonally-adjusted months must equal the same full fiscal year without seasonally-adjusted periods – no?

At some point there is going to be a spike in retail online sales as people stock up ahead of the (likely) tax.


slaughterer's picture

David Kostin (GS Equity Strategist) just called the top by saying we are going much higher on the weekend.

10PastMidnight's picture

probably just the orders for ammo bringing it up, you know with how pleased and trusting of the FED, everyone has become. one number they dont have to twist.

NoWayJose's picture

Now I know why gas prices are up 40 cents a gallon in the last six weeks. With drops of 3.2% and 4.7% the oil companies must be hurting and could miss their quarterly earnings. So if Americans won't buy enough gas - jack up the price so that the ones who have to buy gas will make up for those missing earnings.

Oil companies and speculators just do not understand basic economics - gas at $3.80 will see even less demand. The same speculators dropped gold $200 and thought there would be less demand. Sure... Only algos with momentum trading built in think this way...

LawsofPhysics's picture

7+ billion people all competing for a better quality of life the "opportunity" to communte to a job.  plenty of of fucking demand outside the U.S.

walküre's picture

Where? Do you know what the cost of a gallon is "outside" the US? Forget Europe. There's no demand there either. The places you speak of have gas prices you can only dream of. Or do you seriously think the Indian and Chinese go cart drivers can afford the equivalent of 4 bucks per gallon?


LawsofPhysics's picture

The human population is very much still growing.