- by New Deal democrat
Contrary to bearish expectations raised earlier this week, April retail sales came in higher, +0.4% over March and +8.8% (not adjusted for inflation) over last year.
Stripping away autos, sales also came in +0.4%. This was the 7th straight month of retail sales increases.
Further, March's already blazing hot retail sales were revised even higher, up +2.1% overall (vs. +1.9%), and up +1.2% ex autos (vs. +0.9%).
Of course, we don't know what "real" inflation adjusted retail sales will be, but it is almost certain it will remain a positive number. Since April 2009 witnessed a decline from March, this will bring YoY real retail sales closer to +6.0%. As I have pointed out several times, YoY real retail sales growth is a leading indicator for YoY employment growth. So this month's report increases the likelihood that we will have stronger job growth than generally anticipated.
Also, the fact that auto sales held up despite the ending of Toyota's sales incentives is a good sign that gasoline prices haven't yet caused consumers to pull in their horns on other spending.