Sat. May 25th, 2024

Hot Retail Sales Surge, What’s In, What’s Out?

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker May20,2024 #finance

Consumers went on a huge buying spree in March with upward revisions to February. Online sales surged 2.7 percent.

Advance Retail Sales from the Census Department, chart by Mish

Advance Retail Sales Detail

  • Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2024, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $709.6 billion, up 0.7 percent from the previous month, and up 4.0 percent above March 2023.
  • Total sales for the January 2024 through March 2024 period were up 2.1 percent from the same period a year ago.
  • Retail trade sales were up 0.8 percent from February 2024, and up 3.6 percent above last year.
  • Nonstore retailers were up 11.3 percent from last year, while food services and drinking places were up 6.5 percent from March 2023.

Unexpectedly Hot

Sales unexpectedly hot in March, up 0.7 percent vs a Bloomberg Econoday consensus of 0.4 percent.

And the Census Department revised February to +0.9 percent from +0.6 percent

After a bad January, consumers went all out in February and March.

Those are nominal totals. Real (inflation-adjusted sales) were also on the hot side.

Real Advance Retail Sales Percent Change Month-Over-Month

In real (inflation-adjusted) terms. sales rose 0.3 percent in March, and 0.5 percent in February, after declining 1.2 percent in January.

Advance Retail Sales Major Categories

Winners and Losers for the Month

  • Total Sales: +0.7%
  • Excluding Motor Vehicles and Parts: +1.1%
  • General Merchandise: +1.1%
  • Food Stores: +0.5%
  • Food Service: +0.4
  • Motor Vehicles and Parts: -0.7%
  • Department Stores: -1.1%
  • Nonstore Retailers: +2.7%
  • Gas stations: +2.1%

In general, people bought more of about everything but cars and they did so online.

Bond Yields Surge

US Treasury Yields from the New York Fed as of 2024-04-10

If you are a bond market bull, it’s been a tough month. Let’s review what happened, why, and what’s ahead.

On April 12, I noted It’s Been a Bloody Month for Bond Market Bulls

As you might expect, the carnage continued today.

US Treasury Yields

  • 30-year: 4.74 vs 4.64 in the above chart
  • 10-year: 4.65 vs 4.55 in the above chart
  • 5-year: 4.66 vs 4.61 in the above chart
  • 2-year: 4.98 vs 4.97 in the above chart

The CPI Rose Sharply in March

Yields rose sharply on April 10 on news The CPI Rose Sharply in March Led by Shelter and Gasoline

Yields are up again today, killing a small rally since the CPI news.

I warned about pending bond market carnage on April 3 in Ominous Technical Trends for US Treasury Bulls, Three Durations

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “Hot Retail Sales Surge, What’s In, What’s Out?”
  1. It’s great to see such a surge in retail sales, especially with online sales increasing significantly. Consumers are clearly showing confidence in the economy by spending more. Let’s hope this trend continues and benefits all sectors of the retail industry.

  2. Online sales surged 2.7 percent, showing a strong consumer preference for digital shopping experiences. It’s impressive to see the nonstore retailers thriving with an 11.3 percent increase from last year, reflecting the evolving retail landscape.

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