U.S. retail sales rose just 0.3% in February, below the 0.4% estimate as inflation negatively impacted American consumer spending.
Jeff Cox for CNBC:
Consumers continued to spend in February through at a slower pace than expected, according to a Commerce Department report Wednesday.
Advance retail sales grew 0.3% for the month, slightly below the 0.4% Dow Jones estimate. Stripping out autos, sales were up 0.2%, well below expectations for a 0.9% increase and indicative that after a rapid pace to start the year, consumers were slowing down.
The spending numbers were well below the rise in prices, which increased 0.8% in February, according to Labor Department data released last week.
“With real disposable incomes having already been falling since mid-2021, as earlier fiscal support was withdrawn, and the more general surge in prices took its toll, real consumption growth still looks likely to slow over the coming months, particularly when the personal savings rate is already below its pre-pandemic level,” [Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics], wrote. “It also may not be long before Fed tightening starts to hit spending on big-ticket durables.”
Jeffry Bartash for MarketWatch:
Sales at U.S. retailers slowed sharply in February, rising a scant 0.3%, and Americans probably bought fewer goods like groceries, consumer electronics and furniture and after factoring in high inflation.
Retail sales were positive largely because of a 5.3% increase in spending on gasoline, but that reflects rising oil prices and is not good news for either consumers or the economy.
Most of the decline in sales took place Internet retailers and stores that sell groceries, furniture, consumer electronics and health items.
Technovanguard Take: Obviously, inflation is an ongoing concern for everyone – and every company – involved in the U.S. economy and declines in consumer electronic sales directly impacts Apple.
‘Tis best to get a handle on inflation, if you know how, while you still can. – Technovanguard, May 11, 2021
Earlier this year, Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Peterffy said, “Inflation is 7% — 1% or 2% [in interest rate hikes] doesn’t mean anything. If they really wanted to stop inflation, they would have to raise rates to 4%, 5%, 6%.”
Inflation is repudiation. — Calvin Coolidge
When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident. — Ronald Reagan
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