The Big Number: Retail Sales Rise 1.1.% in March

The retail increase in March is good news for the economy after a slow January and February.
6:51 | 04/14/14

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Transcript for The Big Number: Retail Sales Rise 1.1.% in March
Move. This Monday April 14. The markets -- new -- open in today's big number one point 1% that is how much retail sales in the country rose for the month of march. You know you look at it it's not very big number but it is in fact music to the years for many people. Cutler in the -- and explain why one point 1% is the big number for the day Jeff MacKey from Yahoo! finance is joining us with an explanation. Mr. MacKey one point 1% a lot of -- would say -- -- has not too great but. Not to about right value for your have a markers frozen solid the other half -- -- -- covered by -- and floods and all other acts of horrible mistake came down and consumers still went out they shopped one point 1% little better than expected in the big concern down at -- and that. It would be the deep freeze that took place over January and February was masking a fundamentally weakening economy on the consumer side of things. One point one doesn't -- speak any Norris amount of pent up demand just exploding out of the marketplace and buy an Xbox one's hand over fist. But hey it's better than people expected and it's a good sign that the economy's getting percolating a little bit. Maybe just a tiny bit faster than we'd won. I let me the factor -- the cycle is the more people spending more people work the more people work more people spend so -- that I sort of -- this circle of life soundtrack right. Dion tell you get the inflation part where the more people have more money like to spend -- their guards at one another you kill joy and -- put in high Asia -- -- -- mean that's always been kind of in the back of everyone's minds including defense so mean is that a certain rearing its head now. The Fed would. Actually truthfully I love inflation they would and I -- they would add to or having the problems than inflation because they have nothing. And their mind or in -- there. Armory or in their heads in terms of what to do it deflates and -- -- and he can't -- -- to -- any price. And so the feds really been trying to Foster inflation have been trying to give a lot of money out there cheap loans. Keep people buying cars give people buying houses that's what this stimulus been all about and so you wanna see consumer -- -- rising. Just a little bit and and so we finally are now inflation. They inflation hawks have been losing our minds for five consecutive years waiting for inflation to show up. We're seeing some signs that the price of beef has actually gone up quite a bit we're seeing one on food stocks that are that are going higher. It it's a dangerous juncture but again inflation isn't giving up for dead for so long and the Fed feels as though once we get inflation make this go ahead and yank that stimulus -- -- And inflation goes away deflation on the other hand is there is -- much trickier problem. Well let's let's stay a little bit deeper -- -- minority member of one point 1% because if you look at retail sales -- great economic category auto sales of particular. At a pretty strong month for the month of march write -- what 33 point 1%. Yeah yeah and they like to exclude that because there is so much volatility. In auto sales. And this was one industry that just got hammered in the headlines could not possibly have been worse first earlier this year we had Toyota settling. For billions of dollars with a B a obviously we've had GM and the recall nightmare that they've had going on since February. And I tell you what Americans went out and they bought cars in March. It and that's that's the kind number to meet as someone who is -- it's largely professional investor and -- TV talking guy as a second pastime here. I want to see what people are doing win they actually go to the stores because no one. He's gonna go on spend 32 grand on a car if they're not feeling at least a tiny bit optimistic. About their economic prospects and that's -- we saw on March we saw. Consumers -- straight back regardless of all the negative PR. Regardless of the fact that we seem to be almost in between cycles in terms of the automotive industry going slowly towards electric. And different more efficient models but you know what. People needed cars they want -- cars it felt good about their jobs that went out and bought them. That is to me as tangible sign of economic improvement as you're gonna see apple much more stock in the amount of cars to revive and I would unemployment data. When -- one off consumer confidence any of that stuff thrown away in just give me the receipts in terms of what folks are spending when they go to the story. About just answer my question is massacres obvious is the big numbers segment I was gonna ask you which were big prediction would be as far as the economic outlook on things. And you really do put a stronger degree of emphasis on that because unemployment as you've been pointing out there has been hanging kind of at six point 7% there not a lot of movement going on. You know there's a huge adjustment going on and no one really knows exactly what the unemployment rate should be. We've got these former candidate is this generation of people -- -- -- picture a boa constrictor swallowing this huge pig. And it's these boomer and just a lot of population that -- to retire we don't know when they're gonna retire we don't know where the retirement age for baby boomers should be. We have no idea what urges patience gonna look like or the unemployment rate. All of these numbers are so flawed so -- so garbage in garbage out in terms of the data flow. Then again just let me add up the receipts -- car dealers. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And it turns out that you -- -- that pretty easily and that tells me how consumers are actually behaving because I don't trust the government data. I don't trust when some guy on the phone and -- -- heavy got one of these calls from someone and -- or something and over to how do you feel about the economy. Well I feel like some jerk just called me at 630 at night wants me -- -- questions I don't wanna answer so I'm inclined to give. A more negative answer than I otherwise wouldn't listen to what people are doing watch what they do ignore what they say. His chief -- always pointed out from there but -- -- -- we'll let -- -- there. Given -- five that you are seeing some of these receipts coming back with some pretty positive numbers on there. Ukraine gas and oil prices and it is that still a real concern as far as economic stability here and the IRS. Now. Can't really -- it it's. I think that this played out exactly the way it has lamentable as it may be to many Americans and as little as we understand. What goes on the geopolitics not part of the world. America doesn't really have a lot of hand there and so I think we took that to the -- -- we could. It's kinda disappeared in the markets are looking past it simply because we have no choice. Aren't gonna do what he wants -- there -- that -- you know. Debate amongst -- -- and terms trading it you gotta assume that we aren't gonna get involved. Jeff MacKey -- -- -- finance mr. -- appreciate senior on this Monday morning. And of course you keep up latest headlines right here abcnews.com you know watching the big number and -- -- -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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