Some Bad News on Good Friday

 

Markets are closed for Good Friday, but it’s not a federal holiday so the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics are busy issuing data. They probably should have taken the day off.

The consumer price index fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in March, the first time it’s dropped in 13 months. Economists polled by Econoday expected it to be steady, so that was a huge, shocking decline. Some people blamed a 6.2% drop in gasoline prices, but the core rate, which excludes food and energy, also  fell by an unexpected 0.1%.

And retail sales fell by 0.2% in March, powered largely by the third consecutive monthly decline in auto sales. Also, February retail sales were revised sharply lower to -0.3%, making February and March the worst two-month stretch for retail sales in two years.

What does this mean and how will it affect markets?

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