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QUARTZ CHARTBOOK

A visual look at the economic data worth caring about today

Euro area factory output still falling

Indian inflation bucks downtrend

US retail sales drop in March

  • Sales at US retailers slipped in March. Some think it suggests weakness stemming from the payroll tax cut and federal spending cuts—known as the sequester—still worming their way through the US economy. We’re skeptical. A significant part of the softness in the retail sales report was concentrated in a 2.2% decline in gasoline sales. That reflects lower prices, and lower gas prices are actually a good thing for American shoppers, freeing up more cash to be spent outside of their gas tanks. On the other hand, more forward looking University of Michigan data on US consumer sentiment was also soft in April, which is something to watch.
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