U.S. Retail Sales Lukewarm in April

Four isolated girls out for shopping.Latest retail sales figures for April showed lukewarm spending levels despite Americans having more disposable income due to lower gas prices, rising home prices, and slowly increasing wages.

The Department of Commerce reported this morning that sales of retail and food service in April came in at $436.8 billion and remained mostly unchanged (+0.5) percent from the previous month.

Retail sales for March was also revised higher to 1.1 percent from a previously reported 0.9 percent.

However, excluding autos and gas, retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in April, missing the consensus forecast of 0.4 percent, and falling below the 0.7 percent increase in March.

Over in Europe, Eurostat reported today in its flash estimate that GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the Eurozone during the first quarter of 2015, slightly higher than 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, and well above the record low of -2.80 in the first quarter of 2009 during the global recession.

Yesterday Democrats refused to go along with President Obama’s free trade agenda that was aligned with conservative Republicans.

Democrats in the Senate didn’t pass enough votes to pass a motion to cut a filibuster and proceed to the free trade bill that has sparked criticism from left leaning Democrats, including Senator Warren( D-Ma).

-Johnathan Schweitzer                                   contact e-mail: schweitz31@gmail.com

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