Following Friday’s jobs report, there’s been a renewed fear that the increase in the Payroll Tax is sapping the consumer.
The primary reason for this is that retail employment actually fell significantly in March, as seen in this chart.
But there is contradicting data that suggests that the retail is not collapsing at all.
Check out the recent monthly Gallup survey of self-reported consumer spending.
In March, average daily spending continued to make new post-crisis highs.
Meanwhile, the XLY (Consumer Discretionary ETF) hit a new all-time high yesterday, suggesting the market doesn’t believe the consumer decline story.
Bottom line: Friday’s jobs report may have set off red flags. But the primary point of weakness has not yet been confirmed elsewhere.
Also remember we have a big March retail sales number coming out Friday, which should be very edifying.