Thursday, January 14, 2010

Retail Sales decline slightly in December

by Bill McBride on 1/14/2010 08:55:00 AM

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased 0.3% from November to December (seasonally adjusted), and sales were up 5.4% from December 2008 (easy comparison).

Retail Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows retail sales since 1992. This is monthly retail sales, seasonally adjusted (total and ex-gasoline).

This shows that retail sales fell off a cliff in late 2008, and appear to have bottomed, but at a much lower level.

The red line shows retail sales ex-gasoline and shows there has been only a little increase in final demand.

Year-over-year change in Retail SalesThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales since 1993.

Retail sales increased by 5.4% on a YoY basis. The year-over-year comparisons are much easier now since retail sales collapsed in October 2008. Retail sales bottomed in December 2008.

Here is the Census Bureau report:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $353.0 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, but 5.4 percent (±0.5%) above December 2008. Total sales for the 12 months of 2009 were down 6.2 percent (±0.2%) from 2008. Total sales for the October through December 2009 period were up 1.9 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year ago. The October to November 2009 percent change was revised from +1.3 percent (±0.5%) to +1.8 percent (±0.2%).
It appears retail sales might have bottomed, and there has been little pickup in final demand.

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