According to analysts from Wells Fargo, the weak headline in the March retail sales report in the US, hide better underlying numbers. Key Quotes: “Retail sales dropped 0.3 percent in March compared to an expectation for a 0.1 percent increase. Ex-auto retail sales were up only 0.2 percent versus market expectations for a 0.4 percent increase.” “Retail sales were down 0.3 percent in the last month of the first quarter, closing a weak quarter for retail sales. However, the originally reported drop of 0.1 percent in February was revised to a flat reading, which is not great but is better than before. Ex-auto, retail sales were up 0.2 percent, while February’s 0.1 percent drop was also revised up to flat.” “If we exclude both auto sales and gasoline sales, then retail sales were up a paltry 0.1 percent compared to an expectation of a 0.3 percent increase. The good news here is that February’s 0.3 percent increase was upgraded to a 0.6 percent increase.” “Control group sales, which go directly into the calculation of GDP, increased a less-than-expected 0.1 percent in March but were upgraded to a 0.1 percent increase in February, from an original print of 0.0 percent, while January’s print was upgraded from 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent. Thus, we now have 0.3 percent for January and 0.1 percent for both February and March. This is not great growth for consumer demand but it is not as bad as what the original February retail sales release had indicated. Although consumer demand is going to be relatively weak in Q1, it will still likely be the best component of GDP.” For more information, read our latest forex news.