Tuesday, January 02, 2007

December Retail Sales "Anemic"

by Bill McBride on 1/02/2007 09:48:00 PM

From Bloomberg: December Sales Look Anemic, According To Analysts

When the numbers are all tallied on Thursday most industry analysts and experts think this year's holiday-shopping period will be "anemic" -- the description most often used -- because shoppers held off on buying winter gear, procrastinated on holiday gift shopping and have yet to turn in gift cards.
The International Council of Shopping Centers is projecting that same-store sales, the industry's benchmark of growth measured by receipts rung up at stores open longer than a year, will rise at the low end of its 2.5% to 3.5% forecast.

Thomson Financial expects sales to rise 3% in December.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) , the world's largest retailer, said Saturday that its same-store sales are likely to be higher by 1.6%. That's above a flat to 1% rise the mass discounter forecast ahead of the month. However, it comes after Wal-Mart turned in its first sales decline in 10 years, down 0.1%, in November and may have come at the expense of profit margins.
Just a note - the Census Bureau will release advanced monthly retail sales for December on January 12th.