RETAIL SALES UNEXPECTEDLY TUMBLE 0.4%

The latest monthly U.S. retail sales data are out.

Total sales unexpectedly fell 0.4% in January from the previous month, and December’s 0.2% advance was revised down to a 0.1% drop. Economists were looking for no change from December.

Excluding autos, sales were flat, slightly below estimates for a 0.1% advance. December’s 0.7% gain was revised down to 0.3%.

Excluding both autos and gas, sales were down 0.2%, below estimates for a 0.1% rise, and December’s 0.6% gain was revised down to 0.1%.

The retail sales control group, which feeds into the calculation of GDP, fell 0.3%, below expectations for a 0.2% rise. The December retail sales control group gain was revised down to 0.3% from 0.7%.

“Weakness here was a known event, but the magnitude was the fudge factor and what we don’t know is how much will bounce back,” says David Ader, head of government bond strategy at CRT Capital.

“The downward revisions were big and will extract something from Q4 consumption.”

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