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Retail sales, the engine of the US economy, plunged by the largest amount on record in March as job losses and ‘stay-at-home’ orders have forced consumers to drastically curtail spending, FXStreet’s analyst Joseph Trevisani reports.

Key quotes

“Overall monthly sales drop 8.7%, the largest amount on record back to 1992 while receipts at non-store retailers rose 3.1%. Sales ex-autos fall 4.5%, less than the -4.8% forecast and control group sales rose 1.7%.”

“The dollar initially rose modestly against the majors (euro, yen, sterling, Aussie and Canada) on the retail report but retained only a small portion of the improvement 90 minutes later.”

“Estimates for spending in the second quarter run as low as -41% but the reality will depend on the success of local and state governments have in permitting the resumption of commercial life and employment.”

“Once employment is restarted, consumption can probably be expected to resume a good portion of its normal volume, the biggest question is when.”