A short-term retail stain on the US recovery

Disappointing retail sales and sluggish job creation have put a dampener on the US recovery, but the Fed won’t be too alarmed yet. Expect further tapering next month.

At first glance, weak retail sales and sluggish job creation suggest that the US economy has slowed over the past two months. However, unusually cold weather and snowstorms have been major contributing factors to the slowdown. As a result, don’t expect the Fed to panic just yet.

Retail sales in the United States fell by 0.4 per cent in January – much weaker than market estimates – to be 2.6 per cent higher over the year. It represents a significant slowdown over the second half of 2013.

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