United States | Retail sales remain stable in April, lower than forecasts

(Washington) U.S. retail sales remained stable in April, with higher sales of everyday goods and gasoline offsetting declines in vehicles, but still below market expectations, data shows published Wednesday by the Commerce Department.

American household spending is in fact up very slightly, at 705.18 billion in April compared to 705.06 billion in March, but the variation is imperceptible in percentage terms.

This amount is below the expectations of analysts, who forecast an increase of 0.2% in retail sales over the past month, according to the consensus published by Briefing.com.

The data for March have also been revised slightly downward, with an increase of 0.6%, compared to 0.7% initially announced.

Over one year, the increase is 3%, which is also the case for the average of the last three months, compared to the average over the same period in 2023.

These new data could reassure the markets, as they come in addition to the publication of inflation which slows slightly, to 3.4% over one year, according to the CPI index also published Wednesday, by the Department of Commerce this time.

Investors are indeed looking for signs of a slowdown in American economic activity, which could finally bring inflation back towards the Fed’s long-term objective of 2%, which however favors another index. of inflation, the PCE, for its monetary policy decisions.

On Tuesday, the president of the monetary institution, Jerome Powell, recalled that we would undoubtedly have to be “more patient and let the restrictive policy have its effect”.

If Mr. Powell assures that he still expects a slowdown in inflation, he affirmed that “(his) confidence in the matter is no longer as high as it was, taking into account the data of these first three month “.

The American central bank has been maintaining rates for six months at their highest level since the beginning of the century, between 5.25% and 5.50%, in order to bring inflation back to its long-term objective of 2%.

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