The jobs report on Friday was very weak, and one number really stood out: A decline in retail jobs. The sector shed over 20K jobs in March.
FREDThat’s lead analysts to an obvious conclusion, which is that the payroll tax hike is taking a bite into consumers, hurting the retail sector.
Of course, the jobs report is noisy so you can’t extrapolate from one report to say that the consumer has been kicked in the gut.
Anyway, we’ll find out more next week when the monthly retail sales report comes out.
This preview is from Nomura:
Next week all eyes will be on Friday’s retail sales report. We have argued that it would take time for US households to fully adjust to higher tax burdens in 2013 and it appears that the March retail sales data will show that the adjustment has begun. The headline retail sales number will be ugly – gasoline prices reversed in March, auto sales registered a small decline, and spending on building materials was likely hampered by unusually poor weather conditions. But excluding those categories we forecast a decline in so-called control retail sales, the first decline since October 2012.
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