The consumer not as strong as believed
The US dollar slipped across the board after January retail sales numbers disappointed and revisions weakened the December report.
The control group — which excludes the volatile categories of food, gasoline and building materials — was flat. The December number was revised to +0.2% from +0.5%. With that, the average over the past six months is now 0%.
The dollar fell 10-20 pips across the board on the numbers while gold climbed $4. US stock futures are close to unchanged, erasing early gains.
Despite the weakness in the dollar, Pantheon highlights a caveat in the data:
The culprit in the weak control number is the clothing component, down a huge 3.1% m/m, after a 2.7% jump in December.
The downward revisions, which will shave 0.1% from Q4 GDP growth, are disappointing, but they don’t change the big picture: The consumer is fine.
After the initial fall in the dollar, dip-buyers have helped the dollar pare declines.