Macro Flash Report



The topline MoM reading in retail sales disappointed this morning, led by lower than anticipated auto sales.

In April, retail sales MoM were flat at 0.0%, following a downwardly revised 0.6% print in March and missing market expectations of a 0.4% increase. From the industrial side, the most significant factor in this downturn was the auto sector, which experienced a -0.8% fall in sales.

This downturn from auto can be further seen from the retail sales ex. auto reading, which increased by 0.2%, matching the market forecasts, after March data was revised down to 0.9% from 1.1%.

This divergence highlights a concerning signal for auto demand and recent volatility in the ex. Auto figure underscores weaker than anticipated auto sales/demand to start 2024. Taking a step back, 7 out of 13 categories, saw lower MoM readings. With interest rates clearly in restrictive territory, overall easing in consumer spending is to be expected and is likely necessary to get inflation back within the FED’s target.

The chart on the right takes a broader view shows the clear downtrend in YoY retail sales (solid) & ex. Auto (dotted). Here we see that spending is occurring.