Consumers Release Pent-Up Demand: Q1 GDP Will Be Stronger Than Q4

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On Tuesday there was more evidence that U.S. consumers are starting to release their pent up propensity to spend. Redbook reported an extremely strong plus 4.4% year-on-year same-store sales rate in the March 27 week -- by far the strongest gain of the recovery thus far.

Redbook also upped its estimate for a plus 1.2% March-from-February rate, up 3 tenths from its estimate last week. Keeping in mind that retail sales makes up nearly 70% of the annualized U.S. GDP rate, first quarter growth rate continues to look like it is accelerating from the already strong showing in Q4.

If the Redbook rate is annualized it points currently to a torrid 14.4% growth clip for the largest contributing segment of the U.S. GDP.