- Korea: GDP (Q4); Thailand Auto Sales (Feb)
- Turkey: Capacity Utilization, Business Tendency survey (Mar); South Africa: Tourism & Migration (Jan), Manufacturing Survey (Q1)
- Croatia: Tourism (Jan); Montenegro: Foreign Trade (Feb); Czech Republic: CPI by COICOP (Feb), Registered Employment (Q4); Kazakhstan: Loans & Deposits (Feb); Slovenia: Business Cycle Indicators (Mar); Russia: Employment by Industry (Q4);
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
Texas Factory Sector Activity Remains Strong
The Dallas Fed indicated in its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey that the General Business Activity Index eased during March...
EMU Money and Credit Growth Are Less Than Impressive Than Euro-PMIs
EMU nominal money supply growth is slightly higher over three months, but credit growth in the EMU is slower...
Durable Goods Orders Strengthened by Another Jump in Aircraft
New orders for durable goods rose 1.7% (5.0% y/y) during February...
Correction to Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
The Department of Labor has issued a correction to yesterday's annual revision to seasonally adjusted weekly unemployment claims...
EMU PMIs Are Off to the Races...Farewell Mediocrity?
The PMI rankings for the manufacturing and service sector PMIs in the EMU are suddenly off the chart...
U.S. New Home Sales Improve While Prices Decline
Sales of new single-family homes increased 6.1% (12.8% y/y) during February to 592,000 units (AR)...
by Robert Brusca May 19, 2016
U.K. retail sales snapped back in April, rising by 0.9% after falling by 0.7% in March. However, over three months, sales are still falling at a 2.6% annual rate, a clear deceleration from their steady nominal path of 1.2% or so over six months and 12 months.
Despite that weakness, the sales volume figures show a good deal more stability. Volumes rose by 1.3% in April, sharply higher than the 0.5% March drop and more or less compensated for drops in March and February.
As a result of April strength, sales volumes are flat over three months but growing at a fast 4.2%-4.4% pace over six months and 12 months. Sales volumes have slowed from the hectic 8.3% pace of one year ago, however.
In the quarter-to-date, U.K. sales volumes are up at their well-worn 4.3% annualized rate which we see over the broader horizons. Compare this to the 0.9% rise being posted by nominal sales against declines at a 4.5% pace for food, beverages and tobacco and a 2.8% nominal pace drop for clothing and footwear.
U.K. sales trends in volume terms show a good deal of stability especially in terms of the chart of year-over-year growth rates.
The rebound in retail sales is somewhat reassuring as recent U.K. data have been on the soft side, raising concerns that Brexit fears might be affecting the economy. With the bounce back of sales in April, we see the Brexit has not brought the consumer to his knees despite what have been other weak indicators such as the BRC's like-for-like sales report. Even so, the sense of well-being in retailing stems substantially from a strong rebound in April which even in volume terms follows two consecutive months of sales declines. It is a good time not to get sucked in by any single month's numbers. The April rebound is reassuring, but it is not a definitive statement on the U.K. consumer or his mental health in the face of the challenges of Brexit uncertainty.