• March retail sales weaker than consensus (again).
  • Expectations for consumption had already been revised down after the weak Jan/Feb PCE report; today's retail sales report do not change that, despite some upward revision to the previous couple of months.
  • This weakening of consumption is somewhat puzzling given the strong income and employment, high level of consumer confidence, and credit still flowing.
  • Softer retail sales can be attributed to tighter financial conditions until Jan/Feb...
  • ...but, in my view, the bulk (i.e., not all) of the current slowdown continues to be driven by gasoline sales...
  • ...and, perhaps, by some seasonal adjustment issues.

Charts in the link: http://bit.ly/us-retail-mar16