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Retail Sales Surge By Most In 18 Months Led By Spike In Auto Sales

Tyler Durden's picture


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:


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Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:42 | 4656341 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

More imported cars are not going to grow the US economy!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:54 | 4656389 knukles
knukles's picture

Economy's fixed!
OK you Progressive goobermint workers hobo up additional voluntary money tomorrow on your taxes!
Everybody's in pig heaven
Shits and grins, blowjobs all around

Hobo up, motherfuckers

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:04 | 4656422 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

rack um up Cliff........blow and ho's for everyone.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:20 | 4656426 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Good luck, buyers of what sell-siders are peddling.

Good luck, subprime NINJAS.

Debt slaves to parasites of finance/"banking" unite.


As more consumers trade-in their old vehicles for a newer model, a growing number of consumers are owing more on their trade-in than their vehicle’s actual worth.

Automotive News reports a rise in negative equity among trade-ins beginning in Q3 2011 according to information from the Power Information Network. At that time, 22 percent of trade-ins were upside down; however, by Q1 2014, ***the percentage reached 27.3 percent*** after hitting 25.9 percent and 23.6 percent in the first quarters of 2013 and 2012, respectively.

The cause? ***Longer loan terms of 73 TO 84 MONTHS (and now, beyond), increased subprime borrowing, and declining values in the used-car market as negative equity takes hold.***

Regarding the aforementioned loan terms, ***Experian Automotive said the loans were the fastest growing category in Q4 2013 compared to the previous year, taking 20.1 percent of the new-car market and 23 percent of used-car retail volume*** in comparison to 19 percent and 12.5 percent respectively in Q4 2012.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:49 | 4656558 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

Auto loans spiking; mortgage originations in the toilet.

Obviously, everyone is buying these cars to live in; since they can't afford homes anymore.

Hobo up, indeed.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:08 | 4656613 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

I look forward to reading John Williams analysis of this 'data'. I suspect it is bull manure as far as indicating strength in the real economy. (Watched the Nevada rancher situation over the weekend, so bull is on the mind.)

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:27 | 4656677 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

SokPOTUS:  You aren't far wrong.  I'm watching the young 30ish people in the office give up on buying homes and instead purchase nice cars and eat out every night.  They are more into lifestyle than mowing lawns.


Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:12 | 4657182 bagehot99
bagehot99's picture

Tax refunds always go into car purchases. It's the closest thing to seasonal trade in the auto industry.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:56 | 4657534 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Nothing wrong with living in The Van down by the river. Seems like a good way to reduce your econmic footprint.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:47 | 4656551 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Somehow i have difficulty buying this. 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:00 | 4656590 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Somehow i have difficulty buying this."

Is it because you need a loan?  Please see the loan officer at a CitiBank branch nearest you.  You will find friendly, knowledgeable staff waiting to serve you, with terms you can easily afford.  Stop "buy" and get that loan you deserve.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:07 | 4656608 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Yeah, I gotta believe much of the auto sales were fleet sales to the Gubmint .

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:11 | 4656621 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

The BLM had over 80 white SUVs counted as they retreated from Nevada this last weekend.

Your tax money in action.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:30 | 4656972 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

The message from the Bundy Ranch: "No more Wacos."

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:44 | 4656344 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

the 10% increase in beef/dairy and gasoline prices probably helped to contribute.  see, if people wont spend more, you simply make them spend more to survive.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:17 | 4656458 PlusTic
PlusTic's picture

Just pile more household debt onto these already underwater interest for 5 yrs. on everything...won't end well, as usual!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:44 | 4656345 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

No, the most important question is: How reliable is the information?

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:46 | 4656548 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

No, the most important question is: How reliable is the information?

Agreed!!.  The point is to make markets GREEN!!!!  must stop the bleeding and hold the contagion back!!!! 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:15 | 4656640 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

And need to take attention off so many other stories - - - - Nevada/Harry Reid, CIA in Russia, etc, etc, etc

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:51 | 4656566 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

More statistical lies, IMHO. 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:45 | 4656348 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Thank goodness for cars.....has any industry ever had numbers easier to manipulate than cars ????

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:48 | 4656363 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

is that a rhetorical question?  banking/finance.  duh.  

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:17 | 4656642 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

I wouldn't doubt GM, FORD and CHRYSLER just undloaded a fckload of cars to the rental industry at cut throat prices! this bodes real well for the moron's, who paid almost sticker, resale value.

Buy shit, get shit.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:50 | 4656349 Baby Eating Dingo22
Baby Eating Dingo22's picture

What was the winning bid to obtain this data at 7:45?

Considering we're coming off such weakness last week, really surprised they haven't milked this beat for a 1.5% spike in futures. It will come during the day, as long as Ukriane stays still




Retail sales sizzle in March Sales jump 1.1%, biggest gain since September 2012
Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:46 | 4656353 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Tax season buying.  Auto sales always see a bump once the tax "refund" a/k/a EIT credit checks start rolling out....

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:48 | 4656358 wallstreetapost...
wallstreetaposteriori's picture

I've driven by dealerships that will do you taxes for free......!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:59 | 4656404 knukles
knukles's picture

BMWs got ads that say they'll do free service for four years.
Does that include blowjobs and colostomy bag changes?
My taxes are already done's, why I ask..

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:09 | 4656433 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

I buy a new car every 12 years. I'm in SW florida. Never saw such a massive inventory on a dealer lot as I did this weekend at a Hyundai dealer. The salesman said they had a shitload more stored elsewhere. Right out of the gate I got 2200 dealer incentives, a 2500 cash rebate and 2.99% for 5 years. That was on a 22.5K sticker.

Its the end of snowbird season and good luck dumping that load. Never saw so many cars on a lot.

They got pissed because I didn't buy their $1200 warranty extender which I figure is mostly profit for them.

There was very little traffic on the lot on Saturday when I was there.


Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:19 | 4656461 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

same here in the midwest with the "final pump" to victory.......hehehehee.........stuff that channel baby

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:46 | 4656354 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Building materials+1.8% MM ...must paint GDP/housing/weather tape/meme - GDP upgrades 3.2.1...

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:46 | 4656355 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

when even the gubbermint is smart enough to unload ally you just know something wicked this way comes

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:47 | 4656356 youngman
youngman's picture

now you know why Ally went public at this time.....peak subprime loans

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:48 | 4656360 SpanishGoop
SpanishGoop's picture

A 3.4% increase in car loans.


Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:48 | 4656361 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Well...sales of all electric vehicles are compounding at twenty percent a year, per year. Since fuel for these vehicles is for all intents and purpose free it's hard not to see travel and tourism picking up.

Fuel cells are another interesting alternative as they offer an all electric drive system too.

So do super capacitors which run on good old fashioned ICE's.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:42 | 4657292 silentboom
silentboom's picture

My flying unicorn runs on fairy dust.  It's very cool.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:48 | 4656362 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Thank goodness uncle sam's financiers  can print that refund money, or this could have been an ugly month.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:57 | 4656398 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Doc, shoot me an email at I am on the run today but will get you aquared away tomorrow if that's cool. Congrats to you my man. That was fun. 


Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:50 | 4656364 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Tax refunds and bad loans.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:49 | 4656366 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Election year. Dems in trouble. Expect more of these 'beats' in government reports.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:06 | 4656374 Chuck Knoblauch
Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Expect the government to act as customer of last resort.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:18 | 4656459 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

At least when the 3/4 ton tucks with service bodies go surplus they will be actually useful. Bearcats and MRAPs look cool but are as useless as a F-18 trying to carry passengers from DFW to LAX.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:52 | 4656377 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Armstrong more and more right every day.. 2015.75 all goes down from there.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:53 | 4656378 A_Nejad
A_Nejad's picture

Sub-prime loans again, huh?  You, America, deserve every bit of what is coming at you.  There's no more sympathy for the fool, because everyone has it's own path, and being a fat stupid dumb ass fool "might be" his path here after all.  

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:30 | 4656482 TruthTalker
TruthTalker's picture

Most Americans have no clue what is coming towards them because of a complacent/corrupted media and a corrupt banking system - I've spoken to several, intelligent, hardworking adults who have no clue what the petrodollar is and why it's demise will negatively impact them.  I never would have known about any of this if it wasn't for wanting to know why Americans were not in the streets over Obamacare - I googled - why aren't Americans getting angry - Fluoride came up in the search - one search led to another and low and behold I discover what QE is, why I need to store food, get a gun, store ammo, buy gold and silver - being a single mom in her 40's I was shocked - trying to educate parents in their 80's - a lot of fun :(    Happy to report due to relentlessness I have but they still doubt everything I tell them!  Dad 83 applied for a gun permit first time in his life!  So please do not blame the American people - many who go to work and trust a financial planner to manage their money and tune into the same news broadcast they have for most of their lives - they have no clue because this administration has demanded they have no clue.  Besides hanging the bankers we should hang the news people as well! 


And I now own a Big Berkey water filter that has a fluoride filter too! 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:37 | 4656508 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Dad 83 applied for a gun permit first time in his life!"

Might as well through that in the toilet if two other things (besides ammunition) are not present:



Know what to do - and be prepared to do it - without hesitation.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:00 | 4657555 Sandy15
Sandy15's picture

I couldn't agree with you more.  I have been shouting the same info and people think I'm crazy.  I just try to be prepared with gun, ammo, food, water, water filter, etc., etc., newest purchase.....RV to bug out in style with trailor to pull food, water, essentials.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:53 | 4656382 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

I'm getting bombarded by 40% off sales on appearel,  It isn't their winter inventories either.  It's their spring stuff that isn't selling.  Price discovery at work?

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:36 | 4657888 madcows
madcows's picture

uh, no.  it's 40% off on a 1000% mark up.  they don't sell for a loss.  they just make you think you're getting a deal.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:01 | 4656407 yogibear
yogibear's picture

You see plenty of high-end new autos such as Mercedes, BMWs, Maserati's and Ferraris around now.

New stock market wealth. Stealing wealth from savers.

Reminds one of the roaring 20s without the jobs or manufacturing.

Printed wealth borrowed from the future. 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:02 | 4656410 Goggles Pisano
Goggles Pisano's picture

So, the consumer borrowed money they can never pay back to buy stuff they can't afford. Good economic system we have here.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:05 | 4656425 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

The banks promised they'd never do irresponsible sub-prime loans again, as long as they got taxpayer bailouts....roll out the guillotines.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:07 | 4656411 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Sub-prime leading the way again, bankster scumbags win yet again!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:10 | 4656441 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Wow.  Looks like Recovery Summer #5 is coming up!

Can't wait!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:11 | 4656443 Bernoulli
Bernoulli's picture

It's definitely a weather thing:

Motor vehicles and parts: Increase entirely caused by winter tyre sales

Food and beverage: Stocking canned beef in case there is more of the cold weather

Health and personal care: Increased drug use because of illnesses caused by cold weather

Building material and garden equipment up: Snow shovels and iglu building equipment


Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:40 | 4656520 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

...and channel stuffing a la Barry in a Chicago steam room

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:16 | 4656455 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

Rats!  I was soooo hoping for another "Cash For Clunkers" program to clear those channel-stuffed lots.  I've had my eye on getting a Jeep Wrangler Sport for some time now.  Problem is, they're so popular that the dealers aren't seeing any sales incentives yet - and they still move fairly quickly from dealer inventory.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:21 | 4656464 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

Dow within a whisper of breaking below 16,000 and all of a sudden we get great retail sales?  Hahaha!  

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:39 | 4656516 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"and all of a sudden we get great retail sales? "

Yes, but  bad is good in this new topsy-turvy world we live in.  This goes to prove that the recovery is in full swing and the Federal Reserve can now continue their tapering.

So, look for a bigger drop today?

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:26 | 4656474 OptionsHedge
OptionsHedge's picture

what, not saying how the data is cooked, how US is going to collapse, how the economy is a sham. This is not a good click bait strategy.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:32 | 4656495 Last of the Mid...
Last of the Middle Class's picture

The weather cleared up a bit and a shit load were shipped to the dealers thus marking them sold per GM's accounting practices. Car carry alls have been up and down interstate here for weeks pumping the lots full of their plastic crap. Actual cars sold off the dealer lots is a number you won't be permitted to see. It always amazed me how to buy almost anything you go to wallyworld because they are the masters of delivering it a few cents cheaper even if it's been sold resold and repackaged with parts missing. But go to buy an auto where direct to consumer sales would save almost everyone money and it is forbidden. You have to go sit in some schmuck's office who wants to try to tell you what the frig you need with the car, credit life, extended warranty yada yada yada that they make full commission on. Make all dealerships capable of selling all models and service departments completely different entities who cannot sell cars but only do warranty work and new car prep  and shit-fire you'd have some competition. Elliminate those cigar smoking slime balls telling you how much off they'll give you 'cuz it's the end of the month and put a one price for all on the car. Just another protected scam the american people have to pay for because the dealerships learned early on how to lobby Washington.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:43 | 4656536 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Actual cars sold off the dealer lots is a number you won't be permitted to see."

From the article above:

"but the 3.4% jump in auto dealer sales "

I think that they are inferring that the sales figures (as used in retail spending) are actual units sold from dealer inventory.  Of course this was enhanced by lower minimum loan standards.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:35 | 4656502 valley chick
valley chick's picture

Well that should clarify any taper issues. Taper still on!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:40 | 4656513 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

well gee, since over 90% of consumer loans are for cars and student loans, why doesn't the Gubment also count student loans in their "retail sales" stats too and declare a total recovery and that everyone is "Winning!!!".

what a bunch of fucktards.

Keep this in mind from November via ZH of course:

Meanwhile, I just recently paid off all my fucking student loans after 20 fucking years.  What a jip that was!  But it feels like I just paid off a freakin' mortgage...or a Ferrari...take your pick.  (yet I own neither of those things, lol) ;-)

But you can damn well bet I won't be taking on any new credit/debt or pumping much of my newly saved fiat back into the general economy unless it's towards stacking more PM's, lead and lead delivery systems, and other supplies/assets before the SHTF and PM's shoot to the moon. 

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:43 | 4656533 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture

"...ever lowering credit standards of the subprime auto loan market lead to the inevitable collapse in a few months"

You knew the answer, dealers will "sell" to anyone, no questions asked. Bogus, defaults inevitable.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:50 | 4656562 LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

Does anyone believe what the Fascist corporatists or their political masters say anymore? Oh, maybe the crony capitalists with their PINKO COMMIE MSM cheerleaders do, but their days are numbered....

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:55 | 4656573 Last of the Mid...
Last of the Middle Class's picture

Not so sure about that, you can keep a clinically dead person on life support for a long long time. One thing is sure tho, the patient is beginning to smell. Not a good sign.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:38 | 4656728 yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

Maybe this is the new homes for many.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:42 | 4657494 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Definitely less expensive than a mortgage.  I'd be looking a minivan and SUV sales.  All those cherried out minivans from the 70's -- maybe it's time to bring that idea back.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:40 | 4656740 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"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?"


Like housing, it will collapse.  The only question is when.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:49 | 4656778 Caracalla
Caracalla's picture

Just BTFD.  Whether the increase in retail sales is due to subprime auto loans or to some other reason, it doesn't matter.  The government and the Fed will keep finding some way to goose the stock market so don't fight it; just BTFD!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:28 | 4656967 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Puttin' spinnahs on my rimmahs!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:36 | 4656997 justsayin2u
justsayin2u's picture

Can I buy a car with my EBT?  Can I get a better rate if I pay direct from my SS disability??

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:56 | 4657535 Sandy15
Sandy15's picture

Older cars, doctoring as needed repairs come into play.  New purchase, RV to bug out in style.  Things are getting crazy and when it all collapses the contracts at the banks will not matter.  Hard to repo a moving RV.  I'm just sayin'.......

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:34 | 4657881 madcows
madcows's picture

well clearly they can't afford homes, so where else are they going to live, but in a van down by the river.  minivans are the new condo

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 22:24 | 4659315 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Many of the new cars hitting the road are really leases which show up as a sale, and many of them may be motivated because an automobile owner faced with a costly repair may be oping for this alternative verses putting money they do not have into their current ride.

This allows someone in a weak financial position, such as those living on disability or student loans, to kick the can down the road while putting themselves into an ego boosting vehicle, one that they cannot in reality afford, or need. If I'm correct, much of the idea of "so called pent up demand" is secondary. More on why this is a problem in the article below.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!