Producer prices, retail sales tank in March
* The Producer Price Index dropped 1.2% in the month of March, compared with expectations for an unchanged reading and a February rise of 0.1%. The year-over-year PPI is now running at MINUS 3.5%, much weaker than the -1.3% reading in February and below expectations for a reading of -2.2%. This is the deepest rate of PPI deflation since January 1950. Meanwhile, the "core" PPI was unchanged last month, compared with a gain of 0.2% in February and expectations for a 0.1% rise. The YOY core PPI is still higher -- up 3.8% as of March compared with a 4% gain in February.
* More importantly, retail sales tanked 1.1% in March. That compared with a gain of 0.3% in February and failed to match the 0.3% gain that was expected. If you strip out autos, you get a 0.9% decline in sales, compared with a 1% gain a month prior. And if you want to strip out both autos and gas, you get a -0.8% reading, the biggest drop since December.
Bond prices are off their intraday lows on the news, while stock futures have given up some of their pre-number gains.