Forex News

US retail sales unexpectedly sharply lower in December

US retail sales unexpectedly showed a significant decline in the month of December, according to official data published with a delay due to the government’s suspension. p>

The US Department of Commerce reported that retail sales declined 1.2 percent in December, after a revised increase of 0.1 percent in November. p>

Economists had expected retail sales to grow by 0.2 percent, which corresponds to an increase in the primary estimate for the previous month. R>

An unexpected decline in retail sales occurred, despite a noticeable increase in sales of vehicles and parts by dealers. These sales rose 1.0 percent in December, after rising 0.7 percent in November. p>

Excluding the surge in car sales, retail sales fell another 1.8% in December after they did not change in November. It was expected that sales excluding cars will grow by 0.1 percent. P>

Gasoline sales contributed to lower retail sales amid falling fuel prices, falling 5.1 percent in December, after falling 4.4 percent in November. p>

Baseline sales figures were also worrisome, as a carefully observed base figure for retail sales without cars, gasoline, building materials and catering services fell 1.7 percent in December after a revised upward 1.0 percent In November. p>

Sales in stores of sporting goods, hobby goods, music and bookstores, retail stores and department stores showed a significant decline during the month. p>

“Perhaps the monthly fluctuations are related to seasonal adjustment problems, but the situation is obvious that at the end of 2018 there was a certain weakening in consumer activity,” said Michael Pierce, a senior economist at Capital Economics. p>

The Department of Commerce reported that the annual growth rate of retail sales slowed sharply to 2.3 percent in December, compared to 4.1 percent in November. p>

The annual growth rate of sales excluding cars also slowed to 2.0 percent in December, compared to 4.7 percent in the previous month. p>