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By: Stuart Cowell
US January retail sales increased 0.3% for both the headline and ex-autos. December’s 0.3% headline gain was revised down to 0.2%, while the 0.7% ex-auto gain was bumped to 0.6%. Headline and core sales are 4.6% y/y higher. Sales excluding autos, gas and building materials were 0.2% firmer from 0.4%. Gas station sales declined -0.5% after a 1.7% gain (revised from 2.8%) and breaks a string of three monthly gains into the holidays. Clothing sales dropped -3.1% following a 2.7% December bounce (revised from 1.6%). Some of the weakness could be discounting. Car sales edged up 0.2% from -1.7% (revised from -1.3%). Non-store retailer sales were up 0.3% from -0.1% (revised from 0.2%). Miscellaneous sales climbed 2.3%.
The Dollar was steady following the mix of data, where retail sales were in-line with forecasts, import prices were a touch firmer than consensus, and industrial production weaker. EURUSD idles over 1.0840, with USDJPY down a few points at 109.80.
So far today CAD is the best performing currency, in-line with rising Oil prices, and the Swiss Franc is the weakest. USDCAD moved down to print fresh low for the week at 1.3235, ahead of the retail sales data.
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