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A rough estimate of how many items were sold at retail stores in the United States in the month...

How impactful are retail sales in forex trading?

How impactful are retail sales in forex trading?

A rough estimate of how many items were sold at retail stores in the United States in the month before the report came out. This figure does not include sales of services.

The data are shown in nominal dollars, often known as current dollars; this means that they have not been adjusted for the effects of inflation.

The data has been changed, though, to take into account differences in trading days, holidays, and other things that happen throughout the year.

What is retail sales data?

The data on retail sales is one of the tools that helps gauge the economy's overall health from the consumer's perspective. This data is used in conjunction with the data on consumer spending and consumer confidence.

It is not an actual survey of all the transactions in a given nation; instead, it is a survey of randomly selected retailers. A sample representative of each group will be obtained to ensure that the relevant data can be transmitted.

The fact that consumer data does not accurately reflect the whole state of the economy is one of the data's limitations, even though it is a valuable source of marketing information for firms. Several products and services are occasionally left out of survey data regarding retail sales.

What effect do retail sales have on the forex market?

When practically any major foreign currency's retail sales data is released, traders' attention is immediately drawn to it in the foreign exchange market.

One of the most dynamic financial markets in the world is the foreign exchange market (Forex). One of its best features is that it is always changing, so any trader who plays smart can make money from any change.


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However, it is essential to keep in mind that a number of reasons can cause the tide to switch in any direction. These parts include information about retail sales, which are seen as important indicators of economic growth.

Is It Helpful for Forex Traders to Look at Retail Sales Data?

Every month, the United States Department of Commerce puts out a preliminary estimate of retail sales. This data, which covers retail sales for the previous month, will affect the fundamental forex calendar because it covers the prior month. 

Participants in the market will almost certainly view the report for each category. As a consequence of this, the trends in the forex market may be influenced by their selections of stocks and bonds.

Forex traders, however, focus on the overall percentage rather than breaking down each component individually. The economy is moving along the right path, as seen by the higher-than-anticipated level of retail sales.

On the other hand, this might not be the case when a major holiday is approaching, such as Easter in the countries of the European Union or Christmas in the countries of the United States.

Despite this, in most cases, one should anticipate gains at these times. As a result, the improvements in Retail Sales data should only have a marginal impact on the markets.

However, forex traders would be better off considering all of the alternative interpretations of a worsening retail sales report before concluding that the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

The following are the two reasons why retail sales have declined since the economy has deteriorated, as well as the possible implications that this has for the market:

An unlucky season 

It's possible that the harsh winter weather and other extremes will have a detrimental impact on retail sales. On top of that, I'm sure nobody wants to go shopping while it's snowing, right?

Consequently, other data releases have a tendency to point to similarly poor results during such months, which is why traders should exercise caution before investing their money in this currency.

On the other hand, once the season is through, economic indices frequently begin to show signs of improvement.

Hikes in taxes

An increase in taxes may result in a decline in retail sales, but this is acceptable. This is just the way things work out.

On the other hand, when the actual amount is lower than anticipated, the impact of the tax rise is significantly more significant than what analysts expect.

Then, the estimates provided by analysts may not be accurate. However, they will adjust their predictions to make the next one more precise.

Because of this, the currency's value may decrease in the foreign exchange market, although this trend will not continue.

The benefits of keeping a report on retail sales

  • A retail sales report is considered a timely report as it is released shortly after the month they conduct the survey. 
  • Traders frequently get a comprehensive breakdown of the component sectors to comprehend the data better.
  • Before trying to find underlying demand trends, economic analysts and economists may take out data that is likely to change. This makes the report more useful and relevant.

How do you trade in retail sales?

Trading in retail sales is not accessible. Nonetheless, a few historical links between the RSI and other markets are fascinating.

To begin, let's look at the equity markets. Historically speaking, retail sales have shown a positive association with stock prices. This is because a rise in sales can lead to increased business earnings.

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The following image illustrates how the equity markets in the United States (SPX) generally follow swings in retail sales data, with a predicted higher parallel with the retail sector as represented by the SPDR Retail ETF (orange).


Traders can make money from retail sales whether they use fundamental analysis, technical analysis, or a combination of the two.

By learning more about retail sales data, a person can get a better grasp of financial markets and the economics behind specific price changes.

Retail sales are a great macro indicator for the market because they can be used for all asset classes in the financial market, such as stocks, foreign exchange (FX), commodities, and fixed income.


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