US Dollar Whipsaws as Retail Sales Surge Higher Than Expected
- US Retail Sales came in above expectations and previous data saw an upward revision.
- Continued consumer spending should lead to strong GDP growth.
October US Advance Retail Sales came in above expectations, coming in at +0.8%, below the expectation of -0.6% (m/m). However, last month’s read of -0.6% was revised up to +1.0% (m/m). The strength continued through US data as Retail Sales Less Autos rose by +0.8%, above the expectation of +0.5% and with an upward revision of +0.7% (m/m). Retail Sales Less Autos and Gas rose by +0.6%, compared to the expectation of +0.3%, with an upward revision to +0.5% (m/m).
These readings are in line with an economy that has been fueled by consumer spending and optimistic 2H GDP expectations by the Federal Reserve. With a dismal first half of growth, GDP needs a continued source of growth. Before this report, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow was predicting +3.1% growth in Q4 and New York Fed’s Nowcast expected +1.6%. The next update for the Atlanta Fed GDPNow growth tracker will released later this morning.
Today’s reports relieve some concerns on the strength of the US consumer, who has almost single-handedly maintained positive GDP readings in Q1’16 and Q2’16. Personal Consumption Expenditures, roughly 72% of GDP, grew by +4.2% in the second quarter as compared to headline Q2’16 GDP read of +1.1% (annualized) . In Q3, GDP grew by +2.9%, helped along by +2.1% growth in consumer spending. The US consumer is generally considered to be the engine of the US economy, and the stronger Retail Sales data may push away fears of a slowing economy.
Chart 1: EUR/USD 1-minute Chart (November 15, 2016 Intraday)
In the immediate wake of the data, the US Dollar rose sharply against the Euro, with the EUR/USD falling to $1.0733 from $1.0759. While whipsawing in the ensuing minutes, by the time this report was written, the pair was trending back lower at around $1.07317.
--- Written by Omar Habib, DailyFX Research
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