Gold Slips After January U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.4%By Kitco News
Wednesday February 15, 2017 08:34
Editor's Note: Updating earlier story with more details from report, comment from economist and fresh prices.
(Kitco News) - Gold eased after a government report showing U.S. retail sales rose by a stronger-than-forecast 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted $472.1 billion in January.
Meanwhile, retail sales excluding autos were up 0.8% to $371 million.
Going into the report, consensus expectations compiled by news organizations had been for a rise of 0.1% or 0.2% in overall sales. Sales excluding autos were forecast to rise by 0.4% to 0.7%.
As of 8:46 a.m. EST, Comex April gold was down $6.60 to $1,218.80 an ounce. One minute prior to the report, the contract was at $1,225.70.
“Combined with the upward revisions to December, consumption looks like it will be a solid contributor to Q1 growth,” said Royce Mendes of CIBC Economics. December sales were revised from a gain of 0.6% to a 1.0% increase.
The categories with the largest sales increases in January were gasoline stations, 2.3%; sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, 1.8%; electronic and appliance stores, 1.6%; and food services, 1.4%.
Total retail sales were up 5.6% from the January 2016 level, while sales excluding autos were up 5.3% year-on-year.
Consumer purchases make up the single largest component of U.S. gross domestic product, thus market participants closely monitor the data as a gauge of the economy.