Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
U.S. retail sales dipped in February, and January turned out to be worse than initially reported. Retail sales fell 0.1 percent as automobile purchases fell and cheaper gasoline cut into service station receipts. January retail sales also were revised lower to show a 0.4 percent decline instead of the previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department's Producer Price Index showed a 0.2 percent drop last month, in line with expectations. The decrease is attributed to lower gasoline and food prices.
Oil prices also dropped for a second day as Iran bolstered crude exports, signaling it won't join leading producers to entertain a freeze in output to reduce a global surplus. Even with a proposed commitment to freeze production by major players, global output still exceeds demand by at least 1 million barrels per day.
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