April Retail Sales

The Census Bureau reported retail sales rose just 0.1% in April.  While soft, the number came in as expected.  The March figure was revised down 0.1%, but it still shows a strong 0.7% increase.
Sales of motor vehicles remained vigorous while, interestingly enough, gasoline consumption contracted.  Removing these to arrive at a core number for retail sales, we still see a 0.1% increase as a lot of small fluctuations both up and down scattered amongst the various components combined for scant effect.

As they stand now, retail sales on a year-over-year basis have gained 6.4% at the headline level, down 0.2% from last month.  Pulling out the volatile high-ticket motor vehicle sales component leaves year-over-year results off a bit more, up 5.9% versus the 6.4% gain registered in March.  This slight softening may be laid off to the recent abnormal weather and its exaggerated influence on seasonal adjustment factors, something we have been emphasizing lately.  Nevertheless, the overall trend looks good to us.