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LAST UPDATE:3/17/2018
CQM 031618 CQM 031618

February retail sales fell 0.1%, disappointedly, much lower than the market consensus of an increase of 0.3%. Retail sales have decreased 0.1% for three consecutive months. This week’s CQM revised the growth rate of real personal consumption expenditure downward from 0.9% to 0.8% for 2018Q1. Indeed, the U.S. economy has bottomed out (graph 1), but economic growth depends heavily on inventory accumulation. Therefore, we may still call the current economy a “Soft Patch.” The key indicators which may revise the current economic outlook are March retail sales, February business inventories and international trade. We can expect retail sales to jump in March because of high consumer sentiment and a large increase in disposable income due to the tax cut.

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