This week’s April retail sales report was weak shrinking .2%. This was the second time in three months. For March it was strong up 1.8%, but then in February it was down .2%.
What it appears to be telling us is that the consumer is taking a less aggressive spending stance in 2019. Maybe it’s a reflection of more spending in 2018 because of the tax cuts which are not having the same impact this year.
There is no tread thus far, but we are seeing erratic behavior from the consumer despite a very healthy job market. It also could be that the consumer just took a small break in April after a spending spree in March. For the time being there is no flashing danger sign for our economy coming from the consumer.