Two burning questions may be answered with Tuesday’s retail-sales report: How much are lower taxes boosting U.S. economic growth, and how much are higher gasoline prices hindering it?
The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists calls for a 0.3 percent rise in April retail sales from the previous month. A broad advance would indicate bigger take-home pay is more than compensating for a pickup in fuel costs to a level last seen in late 2014. However, higher receipts that are concentrated at service stations would indicate gasoline purchases are eating into discretionary sales at other merchants.. . . more