BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, Retail Sales for March increased 1.6%, much stronger than the 1% expected. The control group; which excludes food services, auto dealers, building materials, and gas stations; increased 1.0% for March, also much stronger than the 0.4% expected. A decent rebound from the negative readings in February, indicating consumers appear resilient despite the choppy Retail Sales data in recent months. The firm labor market, with low unemployment and growing wages, will also provide support. Amidst expectations of a slowing economy, a resilient consumer should soften fears of a dramatic slowdown, given consumer spending comprises nearly 70% of GDP. In all, bond yields ticked up following the report and equity futures are higher this morning heading into the market open.
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