U.S. retail sales rose but less than expected, suggesting a slowing pace of economic activity.
Retail sales in the United States rose 0.4% month-on-month in April, US Census data confirmed. That’s less than expected, as most analysts had predicted a 0.8% rise.
Total sales climbed to $686.1 billion in April.
April this year also saw an increase in sales compared to the same month last year with a 1.6% increase in goods sold.
Total sales from February to April were also up 3.1% over the same period last year.
The data is much more positive than February and March, when the retail sector both fell by 0.7%.
The bureau’s data initially said the retail sector had tightened by 0.6% from February to March, but a revision of the data revealed that the situation was worse.
Non-sale retailers celebrated an 8% rise in sales since April last year, while food
services and bars increased by 9.4%.
The office’s data showed that the most significant increases in sales from March to April were again at retailers, building materials and motor vehicle and parts stores.
Non-store sales at retailers rose by the largest margin, rising to $112.6 billion, up from $111.3 billion in sales in March.
Overall, the 0.4% April retail sales figure will be a disappointment to many analysts who had believed there would be a bigger increase in retail sales.
April data may be the result of slowing inflation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this last week April inflation fell year-on-year for the tenth month in a row to 4.9%.
Purchasing power also increased as a result of the 253,000 additional jobs that were created in April, up from the 165,000 additional vacancies that were filled in March.
The New York Federal Reserve’s latest quarterly report on household debt and credit found that total household debt rose by $148 billion, or 0.9%, to $17.05 trillion in the first quarter of this year.
However, mortgage balances climbed $121 billion to $12.04 trillion at the end of March as the rate-hiking cycle continued.
Inflation is still too high for the Federal Reserve’s liking, and its Federal Open Market Committee will meet to reveal its next interest rate decision on the 14th.Thursday June.
At its last meeting on 3rd It has been suggested to May that there could be a policy adjustment from the continued direction of rate hikes to moderate inflation.
However, Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said he was far from convinced inflation was headed for a sustained decline back to the government’s 2% target.. Barkin also suggested that monetary policy needs to have a bigger impact on rising prices, meaning a bigger increase in interest rates.
The world’s best-performing economy is expected to enter recession this year.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said that would certainly happen if negotiators could not agree to raise the current $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, which could lead to the United States defaulting on its debts.
The US dollar enjoyed a good week after reports that inflation had eased again. The US dollar rose 0.26% against the Japanese yen after retail sales data was released. currency pair USD/JPY trading as low as ¥136.30.
The dollar also did well against the British pound, which gained 0.20%.
There was more mixed news on the stock markets the S&P 500 index down 0.32%
While the Nasdaq 100 index increased by 0.09%.