Solid August retail sales report which build on the improvement we saw during July. Overall retail sales growth has moved up to 4.1% y/y while control group growth hit 5.3% y/y. Much of the monthly lift was due to higher auto sales, stripping that out and the recent growth rate looks more modest. But overall this is not a sign of false confidence with an increase in big ticket expenditure a positive demand sign.
Tags: Retail Sales
While there was some deceleration in retail sales growth m/m in April the numbers still bettered consensus and looking at the y/y rates activity still looks solid. We’ve actually been in this growth range (4-6% ann. value) for pretty much the entire Brexit period, while volumes have increased more recently, after the initial hit from post-referendum inflation.
Retails sales report again providing some volatility with sales weakening following the very strong March rebound. But the overall picture is still not that bad. The y/y rate might have dipped a little but we’re still clear of the low we touched in December. The trend since then is still easy to label as ‘recovering’.
The improvement we saw in the headline activity numbers in March proved short lived with both industrial production and retail sales taking a renewed dive in April. Auto sector weakness was notably pronounced. Passenger car unit sales are down some 11% from the June 2018 peak, which is unprecedented in a developing economy with a reported growth rate as that of China.
Solid set of numbers, the positive surprise easily outweighing mild downward revisions to the February data. Consumption should have been supported by tax refund cheques, which likely helped offset the drag from higher gasoline prices,