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14/05 USD Retail Sales: What To Expect

May 13, 2021
Bart Kurek

Look out traders! On Friday the 14th of May, the US will be printing their monthly retail sales report so here's what to expect...

The USD Retail Sales Report is set to release on Friday which shows the total value of sales at a retail level. As consumer spending accounts for a majority of economic activity, and therefore when citizens spend, it is a sign that people have jobs, people are making money, and people are able to spend money for whatever it is they want.

The "core" in retail sales removes volatile items such as automobiles from the figure. Traders find this figure important because consumer spending makes up around 70% of the US GDP, and 1/3 comes from retail activity.

Quick Summary of the Previous Report:

  • March headline jumped from expected 5.8% to 9.8% actual
  • March core retail trading jumped from 5.1% expected to 8.4% actual
  • February retail activity headline revised from -3.0% to -2.7%
  • February core retail sales revised from -2.7% to -2.5%

We saw such a huge jump in retail activity in March as there was much better weather, businesses began to reopen, jobs were becoming available and people had stimulus checks. The 9.8% headline was the highest since May 2020, and all the components of the report pointed to a 7% GDP growth in Q1 2021.

What's Expected Now:

  • Retail Sales headline to slow down from previous 9.8% to 0.3%
  • Core Retail Sales to print at 0.9%

Analysts expect to see a growth in retail activity, but April's number will most likely be much weaker than March's. Although progress is definitely slowed, the numbers are still positive, and some positive change occurred, meaning we could see some USD strength on Friday.

Impact on XAU/USD:

If we see the numbers come out as predicted, it's likely it will not cause as much volatility as we saw in March. However, progress is still progress, and with the world trying to ease lockdown and come out of this pandemic, we could for sure see some impulsive movement!

Now that Gold is in this breaker block, this news could be a catalyst for price to reject this zone and continue pushing higher towards 1900, where we can see liquidity is still yet to be collected.

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