Retail revision mixed; Q1 consumer spending looks strong

By Theresa Sheehan, Econoday Economist
April 25, 2022

Annual revisions to the Census Bureau data on retail sales resulted in upward revisions to the data for February and March and a downward revision for January. On net, consumer retail spending doesn’t look all that different for the first quarter 2022, but there could be some revisions to forecasts for the advance estimate of first quarter GDP. That report is set for release at 8:30 ET on Thursday, April 28.

Total retail and food services sales are revised higher to 0.7 percent in March (previously up 0.5 percent) and up 1.7 percent in February (previously up 0.8 percent) while January was revised lower to up 2.7 percent (previous up 4.9 percent).

Retail and food services excluding motor vehicles are revised higher to up 1.4 percent in March (previous up 1.1 percent) and February is revised to up 1.8 percent (previous up 0.6 percent) with January revised lower to up 1.6 percent (previous up 4.4 percent).

So-called “core” retail – retail excluding motor vehicles, building materials, and gasoline – is revised in March to up 0.7 percent (previous up 0.5 percent) and February to up 1.3 percent (previous up 1.3 percent) and January down to up 2.0 percent (previous up 0.9 percent).

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