The US dollar gained some strength due to soft US retail sales data and better than expected industrial production and consumer sentiment from the Michigan survey.
Stock was mixed and the VIX dropped as traders failed to get conclusive answers from today’s data points, which provide little major clarify to financial markets.
Retail sales in the US fell by 1% month-over-month in March of 2023, following a downwardly revised 0.2% fall in February, and way more than market forecasts of a 0.4% drop.
It could that was a sign cost pressures and rising interest rates are weighing on consumers’ willingness to spend. Although retail sales are known to be notoriously volatile.
The so-called core retail sales which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services and relate more with the consumer spending component of GDP, went down 0.3%. Retail sales are not adjusted for inflation.
In the other major data point the Industrial production in the United States rose 0.4% mom in March 2023, beating market expectations of a 0.2% increase and after an upwardly revised 0.2% gain in February.
The index for utilities jumped 8.4%, with advances for both electric and natural gas utilities, as the return to more seasonal weather after a mild February boosted the demand for heating.
Mining output slipped 0.5%, with declines in the indexes for oil and gas extraction, other mining, and support activities. Capacity utilization moved up to 79.8 percent in March, a rate that is 0.1 percentage point above its long-run (1972–2022) average.
In the final price of major data for the day the Consumer Confidence in the United States increased to 63.50 points in April from 62 points in March of 2023.
The University of Michigan Consumer Expectations subindex in the United States also increased to 60.30 points in April of 2023 from 59.20 points in March, beating market expectations of 60.