Shelter Six:  Retail Sales Surge

April 22, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

March Retail Sales jumped a whopping 1.6% from February, which was far greater than forecasted and the largest monthly increase since 2017.

Retail Sales had actually declined slightly in February, so the March figures were particularly impressive.

The reason for the wide swings is probably mostly attributed to the government shutdown and the unusual volatility in the stock market at the end of last year.

Another factor is the size and pace of tax refunds.  Changes in the withholding tables have resulted in smaller refunds on average, and the IRS has been a little slower with distributions.

Home builder confidence is on the rise as the latest survey from the National Association of Home Builders was very strong relative to the weaker surveys from the end of last year.

A CNBC survey of Wall Street experts indicated that 96% do not anticipate a recession over the next year, with 70% optimistic about the economy and 30% neutral.

Rate Update

Despite unexpected strength in consumer spending, mortgage rates finished last week nearly unchanged.

This Week

Existing Home Sales will be released on Monday, New Home Sales on Tuesday, Durable Orders on Thursday, and First Quarter GDP on Friday.