Advance Wholesale, Retail, Trade Indicators: More Muddle Through Numbers

It's nearly June, but we are just now getting a look at Census Department "advance" numbers for April.

This morning the BEA released its second estimate of first-quarter GDP at a non-newsworthy consensus 2.2%. We also have some "Advance" Economic Indicators from the Census Department to consider.

Advance International Trade in Goods

The international trade deficit was $68.2 billion in April, down $0.4 billion from $68.6 billion in March. Exports of goods for April were $139.6 billion, $0.7 billion less than March exports. Imports of goods for April were $207.8 billion, $1.1 billion less than March imports.

Advance Wholesale Inventories

Wholesale inventories for April, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $629.4 billion, virtually unchanged from March 2018, and were up 5.6 percent from April 2017. The February 2018 to March 2018 percentage change was revised from up 0.4 percent to up 0.2 percent.

Advance Retail Inventories

Retail inventories for April, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $633.5 billion, up 0.6 percent from March 2018, and were up 2.5 percent from April 2017. The February 2018 to March 2018 percentage change was revised from down 0.4 to down 0.7 percent.

Note the Revisions

The revisions were both sizable and negative. However, they reflect the first-quarter story.

Mike Mish Shedlock

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