US retail sales
According to a report from the US Census Bureau, US retail sales rose 0.4% in January 2017 as compared to a 0.6% rise in December 2016. The January reading beat market expectations of a 0.1% rise.
This rise was mainly due to the increased sales at electronics and appliance stores, restaurants, and gas stations. This rise in sales in various sectors offset the fall in motor vehicles sales. Sales from online retailers rose in January 2017.
Meanwhile, automobile sales fell 1.4% in January as compared to a rise of 3.2% in December. Sales from gas stations rose 2.3%, sales from food services rose 1.4%, and sales from electronics and appliances rose 1.6% in January 2017.
The rise in US (QQQ) (SPY) (SPXL) retail sales signifies that consumer spending is improving. Consumer spending is one of the most important drivers of the US economy, and this month’s weaker improvement indicates that consumers are slightly concerned about the economy. Policy reformation could be an important driver for the economy.
However, improvements in job creation, higher improvement in the inflation index, and slower improvements in wage growth are also boosting confidence in the US economy (IVV) (IWM) (VFINX). Higher improvement in wage growth will be an important driver for consumer spending.
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the performance of weekly crude oil inventories.