Not entirely surprising given the data from the automakers in recent weeks, but the 3.4% jump in auto dealer sales provided enough juice to push overall retail sales in the US up 1.1% MoM (beating expectations of 0.8% and with last month's data revised higher). This is the biggest month-over-month jump in retail sales since Sept 2012. The question, of course, is whether this auto spike is sustainable to support the overall sales environment or will the ever lowering credit standards of the subprime auto loan market lead to the inevitable collapse in a few months?
So now we must hope for more bad weather so that we can have more pent-up demand for over-allocation to dealer lots?
One place there was no pent up demand overflow was in electronics sales, which in addition to gas stations (expected following the drop in gas prices), and miscellaneous store retailers, posted the largest M/M drop in March, declining by 1.6%.
Finally, putting the long-term retail sales trajectory in perspective, here is the M/M and Y/Y change in the retail sales control group: