Release Explanation: Retail Sales are a very important set of figures that make up a large percentage of consumer spending numbers. Retail sales are the measure of the total sales of goods and services by retail stores. Service-based economies rely on the strength of the consumer to keep things moving along, this therefore impacts PCE and CPI, the Inflationary reports.


A currency will be impacted by this report over time as it reveals the strength of the public in their ability, or desire, to spend. Steady increases in retail sales apply significant inflationary pressures to consumer prices. With retail trade being the foremost indicator for consumer spending, this figure is extremely important in understanding the economy.


Trade Desk Thoughts: Canadian retail sales fell by the most since January 1991 in December as consumers reduced spending in all areas, particularly cars, building supplies and clothes.


Sales fell by 5.4%, twice as bad as expected, after falling 2.7% in November. Sales ex-autos, the core number, fell 3.2%.


All eight major retail categories declined in December. New car sales fell 15%, bringing that industry's decline over the past year to 23%. Sales of building and outdoor home supplies fell 5.6% and clothing outlets posted a 3.7% decline. Sales of furniture, home furnishings and electronics fell 2.6%, while sales at food and beverage stores dropped 1%. Gasoline station sales fell 12% from November, due mainly to lower prices.


Forex Technical Reaction: Crude oil was recently little changed on the day, down 4 cents. The cad rose in the minutes after the report, finding resistance at 1.2540.