This morning the Advance US April retail sales report disappointed bulls with a flat 0.1% month-over-month read, down from 1.5% in March. Core Retail Sales (ex Autos) was 0.0% in April, down from 1.0% in March. Over all the trend in year over year retail sales numbers has been down since the summer of 2011 as shown in this chart courtesy of Doug Short.
The truth is that consumption in the 2009 recovery cycle peaked in the summer of 2011 (with commodity prices and the Canadian dollar) and is not reviving this spring. This is not about weather, this is about the business cycle and its driver, the consumer–struggling under low wage growth, negative to low home equity and still anemic savings. As much as the many market riggers are striving to convince us otherwise, this demand cycle is continuing to slow not accelerate.