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Retail Sales Remain Flat Despite Optimism

It’s no secret that market movements can be quite difficult to predict. There are numerous factors that go into the market as a whole, rendering it quite volatile at times. As such, even those that make their living off of such predictions can often be wrong. Naturally, that isn’t their fault, as not even the most tenured economists can be correct on every prediction. Such is the case with the predicted case for April versus the actual situation that went on.

Namely, April suffered from significantly lower retail sales than most thought would occur. While stocks are regaining some traction right now, the damage done was definitely noticeable. While most predicted April would come with a remarkable increase in retail sales, that seems not to have happened. Namely, the  Census Bureau’s data shows us that they remained more-or-less flat during the entire month. The data was especially disappointing since the month before that, March, overperformed its already high expectations.

Namely, while experts expected an increase of about 9.8% for March, retail sales jumped an entire 10.7%. Naturally, that’s in part due to the latest round of Coronavirus aid people received. If you exclude a few standouts such as automobiles and gasoline, April actually showed a drop. Naturally, it wasn’t a significant one, sitting at 0.8%, but that still disappointed economists. Even with that information, things might not be as grim as they seem.

Namely, if you look at year-on-year data, this year’s April performed 52% better than the last. Naturally, last year’s were hindered by job losses and initial partial lockdown measures. Still, the data seems to be showing a bounce-back on the horizon, although not yet nearly complete.

Import prices dropped 0.7% compared to March. On a yearly basis, however, they rose 10.6%, the fastest growth in a decade.

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