U.S. Outlook: Consumers still hold back in April

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

We can’t blame bad weather for another month of disappointing retail sales.

Graph showing recent decline in retail sales.The April retail sales numbers suggest weaker real consumer spending growth in Q2 that previously expected.

For more on this and other economic developments this week, see my full analysis. Highlights are outlined below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook report, delivered on May 15.

Key observations:
  • In the last year, retail sales excluding motor vehicles haven’t grown at all, something rarely seen in the U.S.
  • We have lowered our forecast for real consumer spending growth in Q2 from 3.8% to 3.2%.
  • It doesn’t appear labor market worries are holding consumers back.
  • There is a rising probability interest rate hikes could be delayed until the end of the year.

Click here to read my full report.

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