Retail Sales Rebound In March As Autos Jump

After 3 straight months of declines, March retail sales surprised to the upside bouncing 0.6% MoM (+0.4% exp), but ex-autos/gas was a disappointment  (rising 0.3% vs 0.4% expectations).

The 0.6% MoM spike was higher than the highest (of 71) economists' estimate

Eight of 13 major retail categories showed increases.

Sales at health and personal-care stores rose 1.4 percent, the most in two years. Auto sales rose 2 percent, the most since September; a report last week showed purchases of cars and light trucks rose to a 17.4 million annualized rate in March, the fastest this year.

Weaker categories included building-materials stores, which fell 0.6 percent; apparel-store sales, down 0.8 percent; and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, which declined 1.8 percent, the most since December, the data showed.

The data on Monday also showed that a decline in gasoline costs, as reported last week in the Labor Department’s consumer price index, may have weighed on filling-station receipts. Gas-station sales dropped 0.3 percent, the most since July, according to the Commerce report. Excluding automobiles and gasoline, sales advanced 0.3 percent for a second month.


shizzledizzle Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:49 Permalink

Just bought a 97 ram 3500 12 valve cummins with 220K on the clock this weekend for $6500 cash. Paints a little faded but runs great, drives great. Has a few minor issues that needs addressed but it's a great truck. Ford, chevy and dodge can take their $60000+ heavy duty trucks and get stuffed. 

tiwimon shizzledizzle Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:45 Permalink

60k is not even entry for a diesel 3500 - my in laws just purchased a new dodge 3500 diesel and paid 84k - and that was after some whittling down of the price. This is after they traded in a 1 year old dodge 2500 gas that they decided wasn't enough to pull their RV, and they paid almost 65k for that one


Truck prices be crazy! But people still buy them

In reply to by shizzledizzle

Blue Dog shizzledizzle Mon, 04/16/2018 - 17:19 Permalink

I've had bad experiences buying old vehicles. Even old low mileage ones have so many issues related to age and rust that I'd never buy another vehicle that was older than 15 years. I'd never buy one with 200,000 miles on it. That would be insane.

One of my old cars was a 96 Olds Cutlass Ciera with about 33,000 miles on it that I bought in late 2014 for $2,000. I had to have the engine rebuilt and all the gaskets replaced. It cost about $1,500 and that was only the beginning. I bought old cars because that was all that I could afford at the time.

In reply to by shizzledizzle

shizzledizzle Blue Dog Mon, 04/16/2018 - 22:14 Permalink

Sorry about your luck but do a little research and be flexible. You can't take things at face value and don't be a brand fan. My father bought a mint green Lincoln Town car for $500 with 176k on the clock. It had fender well rust and was good awful looking but ran to 320k and he sold it for $750. All we had to replace was the voltage regulator and a starter. 

In the highway it was comfortable as hell and got about 20mpg. 

You are always rolling the dice buying something used but you can take a few steps to make sure you aren't getting a shit box.

This goes for diesel and gas engines. Pull the dipstick and put your thumb over it. Do you feel pressure? That is blowby most often caused by worn piston rings and a sure sign the engine hasn't been maintained or is on the edge of a rebuild.

Pop the oil cap while running. Is it blowing smoke out? If so, same issue. 

Look at statistics and read dedicated forums about what you are looking to buy and know where the common failures are.

In my case the 12 valve was the best engine dodge ever put in a heavy truck. They get decent milage, produce a ton of torque and regularly run past 500k if maintained and not hopped up. 

I'm probably going to replace the rear end as the trans was rebuilt recently and it's on the way out. But still I'm money ahead. 

I don't mind turning wrenches and I can rebuild an engine. That being said I often pay someone to do it simply from a standpoint of time but I don't mind doing routine maintenance and it saves me money. 

Something like a rear end I will take it to a specialist because the tools to do it proper gauges etc, make it cost prohibitive to do unless you do it a lot.

Some day I hope to have a shop outfitted to do all I need but that is a work in progress. 

All major brands made some lemons and they made some great ones. Look at what you buy from a longevity standpoint and not so much "is it cool". Every cool vehicle I bought was a pain in the ass. Every farm truck I bought from people who understood the value of maintenance was a solid performer.


Also understand there are people walking into 30k of debt that doesn't know the first thing about maintenance and be careful.


In reply to by Blue Dog

everything1 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

Spring Fever.  If we look at the chart we see that is this a common thing.  Maybe property tax bills and Christmas CC pay down.  I did my thing in March, running CC bill up to about $2000.

Last of the Mi… Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:45 Permalink

Nice warm spring days great for strolling onto the local new car lot and signing up for a horrendously over priced sub-prime plastic piece of crap GM vehicle that will begin to self disintegrate before you're halfway through the payment schedule. 


Last of the Mi… Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

I'm sure all the new taxes levied on a gallon of gas when the price was down over the last 18 months or so are no included in the "retail sales" figure now that the price of oil is up a bit. Winning!